In general I think we Christians overdo the Job analogies. We get a hangnail, sore elbow, and a cold in the same week and suddenly we are having a "Job week". No condemnation - I'm including myself here!
There are seasons.
Seasons when we are being wrecked. Not in the "that song wrecked me" sense, but in the "I don't know how I'm going to look when I pick up the pieces after this season" sense.
Maybe we feel left out on a limb to figure out alone what to do.
Maybe we've never struggled with the goodness of God before but find ourselves in a season of fighting cynicism all the time.
Maybe it's all those things at once. We know we are trusting God, we know we are walking in faith and not fear. That we are leaning on Him. We're doing everything we know to do, everything that has worked in previous tough seasons, but suddenly, it's not working.
We don't know what else to do, and even if we did we don't have the energy to do it.
If you are in such a season, let me encourage you, as one fellow "wrecking season" traveler to another, with a simple truth that God is teaching me. Simple, but not at all easy to walk out.
Walking with Jesus as a New Testament believer means staying in relationship with Him when nothing makes sense.
I know, "Duh," right? You may be thinking "Of course we don't leave Him when it gets tough."
But if you are in a wrecking season, you know the truth I've experienced a lot lately: Some days are John 6:68 days. Faced with the reality of many disciples deserting Him, Jesus asks the Twelve a crucial question: "Are you also going to leave?" Peter's response is important here: "Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life."
Peter doesn't say that they'll stay with Jesus because things are so great. He doesn't give religious words or platitudes. He just basically says, "Where else would we turn?" He is certain of the truth, and knows that it's either Jesus or nothing.
In my season of wrecking, that is the most important truth I am holding on to.
Some days, other truths are just words on the page to me. God's goodness? Yes, I believe it, but don't feel it at times. His sovereignty? Sometimes like Job I can feel unsettled by that one. Purpose in the trial? I just want to skip the trial and get to the fruitfulness. Sometimes I don't even care if there is any. I just want it to be over.
But the words of eternal life? The heart of my faith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected, saving me forever? That one keeps me coming back to the throne room day after day, sometimes crawling in tears, other times celebrating, still other days just gritting my teeth and doing it because it's on my list.
And what I am learning is that even on the days that the basics of the Gospel are all I can hold on to, when I just go to Jesus because it's either Him or nothing - that is still victory. Don't take my word for it. Listen to the Apostle John:
In "The Insanity of Obedience" author Nik Ripken says that Job is a New Testament voice in an Old Testament world, and his friends are Old Testament voices. That is why they couldn't grasp how Job processed what he didn't understand. While Job certainly didn't have a full understanding of the Gospel, we see clear evidences of a personal relationship with God:
Remember my mention earlier of purpose? We see a glimpse of a beautiful truth in Job 1:6-12. Besides God Himself, the only ones who knew the whole story were the members of the heavenly court. God was showing off Job's faith to the whole spiritual realm. Job didn't know this, of course, but we have the full truth of God's word that gives us a similar concept: