Why Not Me?

November 8, 2012 — Leave a comment

He had lost everything – everything!  His business, his employees, all his assets, property, even his children.  Yes, children, as in plural.  All dead. 

Then he lost his health.  Disease racked his body.

Job.  His name is synonymous with suffering.  Has there ever been anyone who has lost as much?

I return again and again to look at him.  How did he do it?  How did he survive with his faith intact? 

What can I learn from him that I can share with others who suffer? 

What is the path that he followed that I can imitate so that I can survive with my faith intact during the storms of life? 

There is a tête-à-tête between Job and his wife early in the story.  She seems to be fed up with his stoic stance in the face of such suffering.  Perhaps she can’t stand to see her husband in such physical pain.  In a moment of raw emotion she screams at him, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?!”

I ask myself the same question.  Why didn’t Job curse God, yell at him in fury, shake his fist in anger, or walk away from God? 

That’s what we do, isn’t it?

Every time I come to this point in Job’s drama I sit on the edge of my seat and cock my head a little to the side so I don’t miss what he says.  Tell me Job, what is the answer?

Listen with me to the child-like faith of this man as he gives the solution for us all to follow.  It is a summation of his view of life.  “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Job, that man of ancient time, understood the nature of grace before it was revealed in its fullness by the gift of Christ to the world.  He knew that every good thing that had ever happened in his life was because of the hand of God; God’s grace-filled hand.  Job understood that he didn’t deserve any of the good in his life.  He was an imperfect and flawed man.  Yet his life was filled to overflowing with richness and blessings from God.  Job had not earned these things.  It was a gracious God that blessed him with them.  Job asked the “Why me?” question when he was being blessed.

Many in that part of the world no doubt envied Job and his riches and position of power prior to calamity befalling him.  Apparently his wife, too, enjoyed the sumptuous life they lived. 

Actually it’s what we all want.  We want to be standing under the cup of blessing when it is being poured out.  We eagerly soak it up and smile at our good fortune.

But when the cup dries up we want to pick up our divining rod and look for more promising ground.

While we today are prone to cry out, “Why me?”, Job provides the counterpoint by saying, “Why not me?”

Job says to me that all our days come from God’s hand, both the good days and the bad days.  We can’t be like children who are only content when they get what they want.  We can’t be God’s fair weather friend.

If we are ready to receive a good day, we must be ready to receive a bad day.  They come from the same hand.

The wise man, Solomon, put it in a very similar way when he wrote, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:  God has made the one as well as the other.”

It explains how Job could say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Job didn’t love God because God was good to him.  If he had, then he would have cursed God when things went badly.

Job loved God simply because he was God.  That was how he survived Satan’s attack with his faith intact.  That is the path that I must follow, too.

{This is part of a series of articles based on the first two chapters of the book of Job.  For others in the series, click on the category “The Conversation”}

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