Dear Modern Mama,
No, you probably don’t know much about me. I’m not a Bible superstar or good example of faith. In fact, the infamous line I am known for is, “Curse God and die!” (Thankfully, my words are only recorded in one Bible verse, Job 2:9.) Despite that, I hope to encourage you to seek God during the grief and suffering that life inevitably brings.
As my husband Job lay in ashes scraping his painful wounds, I questioned how he could maintain his faith. That’s when I urged him to give up on God and give in to death. I did not mean for Job to take his own life. Instead, I meant that he should blame God and let death take him, since he was half-dead already. Yes, I wrongly said evil things as I wallowed in my grief and bitterness. At the time, I didn’t know what else to do but blame God. Enemy raids, sword attacks, deadly fires, and fierce winds killed animals and people, including our ten children. My precious children! Taken from us in multiple sudden catastrophes. My entire life as a mother wiped out. Farmworkers, shepherds, nannies: all employees gone in an instant. Our livelihood ruined. I felt crushed and overwhelmed by grief and sorrow.
I got angry at God and succumbed to bitterness. Job’s friends sat with him for one week in empathy and mourning. I couldn’t stand being near Job because of his stinky breath and those putrid boils. Now, I am ashamed of my actions and of how I blamed God. I write to you in hopes that you will follow my husband Job’s example instead of mine. Don’t be like me and let grief and bitterness take over your heart until you shut out God. Notice that I am never named, and never again quoted, in the Bible.
Job maintained his close relationship with God. Despite being confronted and accused by his friends, Job kept his faith and integrity throughout his trials. He rebuked me for my comments, but he did not sin. How could he keep trusting in God after all that we had experienced?! Job questioned, but respected God. He challenged God, yet submitted to Him. Job wailed in pain, but trusted God for help. I did none of that. How I wish I had turned to God with my grief and anger like my husband did. Check out my husband’s book of Job to read the laments of his heart as he expressed them to God. Yes, Job maintained his integrity. Regretfully, I did not.
Dear friend, please trust God no matter what you are going through. Know that our God is big enough to handle any anger and emotions you feel. God can help you deal with the trials of your life. When life hurts and death seems like a better option, God can teach you to trust and submit to Him. Our God may not answer with specific reasons why, but He will guide and sustain you through everything you experience. Although I learned these lessons late, I share my story—and what I learned from my husband—with you.
By watching my husband Job deal with his suffering, I learned so much about God. Yes, my man of God stayed married to me, and later we had ten more children. I did not deserve God’s favor. Like He did for Job’s friends, God blessed me because of my husband’s faithfulness to God. How I wish I had trusted God, like my husband Job did, to help me through grief and suffering! My bitterness and resentment against God consumed me. I pray that you would avoid my sinful path and instead turn toward God during sorrow and trials.
Praying for our dear Lord to teach you through my mistakes.