“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
~Job 42:10 (NRSV).
There’s always more to unfold in the stories of our suffering. The horrid languidness of these events is not the end.
Job’s Repentance and Ours
Job is brought to God’s precipice; to the vista of truth, and therefore repentance (verse 6). He’d gone full circle, from pity party to adroit acknowledgement of the Sovereignty of the Almighty. God’s ways are forever above ours (verse 3; Isaiah 55:8-9).
Repentance is always the key to any response to God in our suffering; not that suffering itself is always an indicator of justice via the consequences felt.
Repentance is simply the practice of turning back to God in the midst of any distress that’s unconscionable.
When the strain takes us down to nowhere fathomable we don’t reject God; we cling hard toward the Lord. It did Job no good to thumb his nose at God and it does us no good either!
As justice is barren and the scope for reason is denied, we hold out in hope, having winged our way back to God.
All the above is repentance; it’s not just a behaviour engaged in for repealing personal wrong. It’s also what we’re to do when we’ve been wronged... it’s God’s sure comfort in the presence of any wrong.
Penitent Hearts – Open to Eventual Blessing
Many times in the Bible it’s said the lowly are blessed of the Lord (e.g. Psalm 51:16-17; James 1:9-11). This is the typecast Job. Finally, when everything was spent within him, and defending the indefensible was seen futile, he makes a public declaration of truth. Job did not understand... his words: many things of God are “too wonderful for me” (Job 42:3c). In that admission, he finally does understand his rightful place.
The same goes for us.
As we begin to understand in our trials, disappointments and losses that our pain is not the point—that instead it points us to God for help—we’re all the more better off. Understanding’s reached for repentance—the acknowledgement of the Divine nature and character. God is inscrutable. Our only worthy act in the sight of the Almighty: worship.
With dramatic irony, pain brings us closer to the Lord. And this in turn brings us closer to the eventual blessings that will come... redoubled in their own form... in God’s good time.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.