Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Job Year

I read a bit of Job earlier in the year and I imagine that if God and Satan were talking about me behind the scenes, it may go something like this:

"Sarah only praises you when everything is going well," Satan said.  "But now stretch out your hand and strike everything that she has and she will surely curse you to your face."
The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything she has is in your power...."

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and caused her labour to not progress so that she would require a caesarean which had been her greatest fear.  When her baby son was just two days old she began to sink into a deep depression which would result in two hospital stints (and narrowly avoiding a third).  She spent many hours and days in bed, resulting in social isolation and enormous strain on her husband.  She had to give up her church involvement and could not even attend church for many weeks.  Her baby was struck with silent reflux, causing him to scream when lying flat, cold after cold during the winter months, and eczema.  For months afterwards, he would wake six times per night on average driving his parents to become sleep-deprived zombies.  Sarah was surrounded by an initially unhelpful mother and loads of conflicting and confusing advice and criticism.  Sarah's auntie died after a long battle with lung cancer.  Her depression continued to fluctuate, sinking to lows such as thoughts of suicide.  Just when she thought she was on the way up, her medication stopped working and she was back at the beginning again.  Her cat became unwell because of the stress in the household and started pulling her fur out.  Her husband's migraines became more frequent.  Her football team had a shocking year and, to top it off, the arch-enemies made the Grand Final.

There have been some good things, but please don't say, "But you have a beautiful baby," or something equally trite.  It really doesn't help.  This has been the worst year of my life.

The difference between Job and myself is that Job did not charge God with wrongdoing, even though his wife told him to curse God and die.  But I did.  I became angry at God.  I'm sorry God.  I'm not upright and blameless like Job.

This year I have come to understand some more of God's amazing grace.  There is no way I could be upright and blameless on my own merit.  But praise be to God, He looks at me and sees Jesus' perfect righteousness.  Jesus took my sin, paid the price for it, and defeated death by rising again.  I get a white robe so that although my sins may be scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.


Betty Luckhurst said...

I've never been one to pat people on the head and say, 'There, there.' But I will tell you the 'facts' as I have discovered in my own life.

I can tell you is that He knows what you've been through and He has a plan for all of it. I don't claim to know why things happen, but He does and life is easier when we stop trying to find out the 'Why' and just trust.

And, so, the year has been what God has allowed for you to realize His Grace so that you can pass that on at some point (II Corinthians 1:4). Just think of all the wisdom you have acquired this year! Even if you don't think so, it will show up when necessary.

Sarah said...

Yes, that's pretty much what I said in my post.

The more I think about Job I realise Job's friends got it right when they just sat with him and so wrong when they tried to be 'theological'.

There is definitely a place for reminding Christians who are suffering of truths about God. However, often it is done with little tact (i.e. telling someone whose relative has died that they should just rejoice because they were a Christian and are now with Jesus). Quickly quoting Romans 8:28 shouldn't always be the first thing we do.

Joanna said...

That is an incredibly difficult load to bear. I believe that God delights in the faith of his children, even when it is small and wavering. I am sure he treasures you and your perseverance through this painful time.