So, as I have moved into the book of Job, I am going to spend the next few weeks going through this challenging, poetic, and beautiful book. Its not going to be as much about trying to explain it away but more just my visceral reactions to what I read in these chapters over the next few weeks. My first encounter with Job comes from a sermon series that took place in the church I grew up in. I remember our two pastors dialoguing about it when we met for our weekly Lenten services. I don’t remember much of what they said but I remember hearing about this book for the first time.
I have read Job several times since and chapter 2 has one of the best passages in the Bible I have encountered when dealing with difficult circumstances in the lives of others – it describes three friends of Job who come to him after all the tragedies come upon him and verse 13 simply says, “And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.” Its only when they start opening their mouths that things get messy.
I was reading these chapters yesterday though as I was flying to California to particpate in my uncle’s memorial service (which was this afternoon). As we were coming into LAX, I saw the clouds/haze/fog/smog on the mountains around the city and it spoke to me of how Job might have been facing the circumstances that had come upon him. So many things that fell on him and it was getting more and more difficult to see God through it all. I know that I have come into these times myself as well as walking with others and often the best thing is to be like Job’s friends – not try to erase the fog that is obscuring what was once clear but instead to simply be there with them.