Job in the Abstract


I’m still listening to the Bible in my car.

I’m a captive audience out on the mail route.

Some parts of the Bible are hard to wade through….I didn’t think I’d get through the first five books of the Old Testament.

I think my mind wandered just a little bit.

But then I got into some of the later books and it was easier sailing.

I was listening to the book of Job and was thinking, “Good for you, Job…you hang in there.  That’s the way to do it…”.

I think that a part of me was thinking that maybe that would be me…steadfast and true, rising above the torture and seeming abandonment, trusting that the plan for me was kind and just…trusting that I was loved and would be taken care of in the end.

And then,early last night, my youngest son pitched a major fit being carried out of the Wal-Mart toy section, I almost backed into the “other car” that I wasn’t watching for, I couldn’t pick a good place to grab an overdue bite to eat, and in my borderline hypoglycemia just generally turned into a really mean and incomprehensibly angry jerk.

I wasn’t being a good family man.

In the midst of my minor Krakatoa, if I could have backed away from myself for a moment and limited my self-absorption just a little, I would have realized that I might have been jogging perilously close to the “why hast thou forsaken me?” zone.

So much for my ability to identify with the steadfastness of Job.

It doesn’t really take much for me to lose my way.

No leprosy or other unnatural skin issues, no crushing blows…just an almost 4-year-old tantruming in a crowded place…just someone much smaller than me trying to control the situation.

I can’t blame my apparent lapse of faith on a four-year old…but he is powerful.

In the story of Job, God allows Satan to bring trials to the “just and faithful” Job to show that Job is a good man and consistent in his love for God.

Satan asks the question of God….and I paraphrase….that “maybe Job loves you because times are good, but how would he do if it all fell apart? Would he still praise you if things were horrible?”  And God says…and again, I paraphrase….”check it out, he’s a good man…you’ll see…”

Now I’m not saying that my 4-year-old is some kind of weird trial that God has sent me to test me.  It’s nothing like that.  I am blessed and I know it.  My little guy is a major part of those blessings….whether we’re trying to get out of the Wal-Mart toy section or not.

What I am thinking, though, is that it amazes me how little it takes for me to fall apart.  I am not the fount of patience and light that I sometimes would like to think I am.

I told my wife that I thought I was a pretty laid back person once.

She said, “No, you’re not.  You’re not laid back.  You think you are…but you aren’t. You aren’t laid back.”

I’ve never felt less laid back that when she told me that. 

Maybe she’s right.

I’d like to think that someday, whether things are good or bad, I could learn to just consistently adore and appreciate.

Maybe I need to listen to Job again.


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