You’re right. There aren’t many modern day Jobs. In fact, even in Job’s time he was unique. He wasn’t at all common. Then, and now, the Job character type is the same. I look at:
Joni Erickson Tada. Teenager – dives in shallow water – quadriplegic – goes through thoughts of suicide and severe depression – learns to paint holding a brush in her teeth. 1986 marries! Recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She can’t do the most basic task for herself. She loves God, praises him and works like crazy advocating for people with disabilities. She speaks all across the country encouraging people to put their faith in Jesus.
Tony Melendez – born with no arms – learned to play guitar with feet – played for Pope. Today is a motivational speaker, tours with his band and is active in the pro-life movement.
My life is easy compared to Job and compared to these two people. And, if you believe my battle is easier than yours, I cannot argue with you. It could have been so much worse. There are many who have it much worse than me.
But, I will disagree vehemently with conclusions you’ve made about your own ability to affect change. I believe there is always hope! No one is powerless.
Job didn’t praise or serve God because of what he did for Job or for past blessings. Job understood that God is God Sovereign. To not bless or worship Him is a fatal mistake. Job knew that and that’s why he argued so readily against his wife and friends. I pray that should I lose my wife and kids or face rejection of this new liver that I, like Job, will remember that God is God regardless of the state of my life.
I remember the night in March when I coded. I was minutes away from death. A severe reaction to an antibiotic caused my tongue to swell so large that it would not fit in my mouth. It closed off my airway. I remember the alarms and medical staff running into my room. I remember hearing them frantically bark out commands for injections of this and that. It sounded just like TV. I remember them tossing me around like a rag doll to get me into a better position. And then, I remember coming to with a plastic oxygen mask over my face and the infectious disease doctor asking me assessing questions. I saw 12-14 medical staff members surrounding my bed in a solid yellow circle because of the yellow gowns they all wore. Every eye was on me and the tension was palpable. I said something like, “Hello everyone. Thanks for coming to my party.” The laughter broke the tension and you could feel a collective sigh of relief.
I’d be lying if I told you I was not scared. But, somehow, I also had peace. I was in that hospital bed for 25 days. My condition was deteriorating even more. The friends who visited me looked at me with eyes that told me just how bad I looked. I could see that seeing me was painful for them. I remember my mom crying and saying goodbye to me during a particularly bad patch. It wasn’t a “see you tomorrow” type of goodbye. It had a ring of finality to it.
Losing my job, losing my house, suffering continuously and not even able to remember my own phone number was so painful. I lost driving privileges and my independence. I sat alone in my house day after day and often fell asleep on the occasional visitor. Other times visitors energized me and, for awhile, I felt normal.
I cried out to God, I screamed at him, I sang and read His book, I wanted to die and I wanted to live. But, I always knew that He is God and worthy of my praise. Sometimes I had to make myself give him honor.
God does not exist to serve me. He doesn’t need my praise because he’ll make the rocks and trees give him praise if I don’t. Because he is loving and because he has told me to ask for the desires of my heart, I do ask him to provide, to make me well and give me strength. Like every parent, only perfect and omniscient, he does not give me everything I want. He gives me what I need to mold me to reflect his character.
My friend, I am thankful I have gone through this past year. I’ve grown and changed in so many ways. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but I am thankful. My faith, my trust, my love is somehow deeper or more real now. I can’t really explain it.
Tonight I had a fever of 101.5 at one point. Fevers for transplant recipients can mean anything from infection to rejection. I pray that it is nothing. But, if it is, I am determined to bring my God glory no matter what. Why?
God is God Sovereign. To project human frailties and characteristics onto him and evaluate him by human standards is just plain silly. I DO NOT want God to be like me and play by my selfish rules and expectations. I want to be like him.
I know you are hurting. I know you’ve suffered heartache, I know you’ve lot your job and I know your friends have abandoned. Your life sucks right now but that doesn’t mean it will suck forever. You will have days when you laugh and love again. You will have time when life is good again. I believe it with my whole heart. I wish you would too.
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.
When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.