I have written several religious formation books for use in the classroom, I have tackled Mosses and the flight from slavery, I have looked at the Book of Acts and even delved into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but the one book I have always wanted to take on was the Book of Job. This book, Jobs story, has always fascinated me, and I feel there are so many hidden gems with in the text. The fabric of Job is rich and textured that I know lessons lay between the words of the book. Yet I have never followed that vision, that dream to write a formation book based on Job. Maybe I will, one day, or maybe I will use Job in other ways. This I know, it is one of my favorite books in the Bible, the story of poor Job just seems to touch me.
I would like to think it’s because I connect with Job, but I know this is not true, Job was a righteous man, pleasing to the eye of God, he was a rich man, with many blessings. I am no righteous man nor am I rich. Job had a family, wife and children, I am single, and Job had oxen and ass, and well, I’m just an ass with no oxen. So no, it’s not that I connect with Job on any physical level.
Job had faith, a trust in God that I can only strive for, we was steadfast in his convictions, even as he lost all he had, he was still faithful.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job 1: 20-22
No, Job was one of a kind, he had faith that most of us only dream of. Yet Job seems so real, so accessible to me, he does not seem out of reach, but rather he seems humble and down to earth. Just the man next store type of guy. There is something likeable and pleasant about Job, and about his story. You feel his sufferings and trials. Yet you know his faith will pull him through. You know Job lives by the old saying “For the Grace of God go I”. A saying that I often us in my daily speech, a saying that I try to live by, a saying the Job exemplifies.
Job is the perfect picture of acceptance, of letting go and letting God. Yes Job was man, so there for he was also fallen and sin was in his nature. He was not a god, nor was he God. He was not born sinless, and he, I am sure, did not die sinless. But he was contrite and humble, he was steadfast and prayerful and most of all he was obedient to the Lord.
Maybe this is why I am drawn to Job, not because he and I are so much alike, but because he and I are so different, because I want to be like Job, I want to emulate his trust and faith, I want to experience his deep conviction and to feel God within me as Job did. Maybe I am drawn to him because I lack so much of him within.
This Lent read the book of Job, meditate on his plight, on his trust and his faith, and read of his family and friends and others who lacked trust in the Lord, I think we, well I know I, will find ourselves more in them than in Job.
His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2: 9-10
Are most of us more like his wife than like him? When things seem not to go our way, we tend to blame God, to curse him, and if anyone in the bible seemed to have the right to curse God, it was Job. This man did nothing to deserve the trials he was enduring, he was a good and faithful man, yet God allowed the Devil to tempt him, and Job never wavered, he just endured.
And we complain about 40 days of Lent! The sacrifice we make, giving up meet on Friday compared to Job, who lost all he had. How sad we truly are, how unworthy we truly are. Yet God does not give up on us, just as he had faith in Job, he has the same faith in us. If only we could have the same faith as Job.
Lent offer us the time to reflect, to reflect upon the Cross, the Empty Tomb and the Risen Lord, use the 40 days of Lent to read Job, to understand Job and to see the Cross, Tomb and Risen Lord in all the Job endures. Journal about how Job and his trials can become your trials, how Job’s faith can become your faith, how The Book of Job can become a book of you.
God Bless & Happy Lent
(Note: The Guided Insight Life Coach website is currently down)