Lenten Devotional-Day 39

Saturday, March 28

Job 2: 9-10 And his wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Oh, For the Patience of Job

I heard it many times when I was very young and growing up. Typically, it would be my Aunt Margaret who lived in Brunswick County, VA; she, herself a very devout believer. “He/she has the patience of Job” or “I wish I had the patience of Job” I didn’t understand what she meant, or even who Job was but, evidently, he was a very patient fellow.

I have always maintained that everyone has a story. Perhaps your story, like mine, has helped lead you to where you are along the path of your Christian journey. Job’s story is my favorite from The Old Testament. He had it all: possessions, family, health, prosperity. Author Frederick Beuchner, in his delightful book, Wishful Thinking, A Theological ABC, says this about Job: “Job is a good man and he knows it, as does everyone else, including God.” Then all of it was taken from him, and he found himself sitting in the ashes when his wife approached him and told him to curse God and die. His response has resonated with me a lot over the last 10 years, as I’ve had to endure personal loss and a battle with cancer in my own life. It’s easy to celebrate our Christianity when things are going well. But, unfortunately, professing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior doesn’t come with a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong, or that we’ll never suffer loss. Even Jesus had to endure hardships including 40 days of isolation, and the tribulations that ended in His death. But then He returns and tells us, “I will be with you always.” I take that to mean that whatever we have to face, we can be assured that He will be there to see us through it. I can honestly say that my own faith helped me to deal with what I’ve had to endure.

I’ve since come to the realization that maybe Aunt Margaret had it wrong. It wasn’t Job’s patience, but his faith that saw him through all his tragedy. I think a modern day wish for us all should be, “Oh, for the faith of Job.”

                                                                                                                        Charley Jones

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to remember that, whatever I have to face in this life, I can face it knowing that you are with me and will be my strength. Amen