Don't Listen to Job's Wife

  • Feb. 7, 2013
  • #8029

When depression hits and God seems so distant, Job’s wife’s advice may seem oh-so-tempting: “Curse God and die!” … but wait, there is hope. Listen to God and DO NOT listen to Job’s wife!

Welcome to “Joni and Friends”! I’m Joni Eareckson Tada.

I will never forget when I was first injured, when doctors told me I would remain a quadriplegic for the rest of my life, I looked at them with a blank stare. The terrifying reality of ‘hands and legs that don’t work’ just bounced off my brain. After many months, though, reality really began to sink in … this paralysis … I learned it was permanent. And I remember identifying — really identifying — with Job. As far as I was concerned, mine were the trials of Job. I mean, sure I had not lost my children (didn’t have any), or my property, but I could not face life living as a quadriplegic. It was so scary, so overwhelming. The idea terrified me. Somewhere in those early days, I came across Job 2:9 where it says that, “Job’s wife said to him ‘...Curse God and die!’” I read it again; it almost sounded tempting because there were nights that I would almost toy with that idea.

There were many dark nights when, in my mind, I would tiptoe as close to that edge, as near to getting mad, angry and cursing God as I dared get. I had to take my frustration out on somebody and not just anybody but somebody who was somehow responsible. Oh sure, sure, I knew I was responsible for taking the stupid dive into shallow water, but I mean a bigger responsibility, a cosmic one, like “God could have prevented it, but He didn’t.” So I was starting to listen to the advice of Job’s wife: if I couldn’t live without use of my hands or legs then, hey, why not just curse God and die!

But I was never quite able to “do that” because I knew if I did, if I actually blasphemed God, it would be the end of hope. It would mean the absolute closing of the door on any hopeful future. I knew that if I were to curse God for my circumstances, I would be committing spiritual suicide and not just spiritual, but emotional suicide. I would be cutting myself off from what I knew — I knew way down deep — was the source of every good and happy thing, of every hopeful thing. To turn my back on God would be to turn my back on what I knew better. It would be the death of my heart and soul.

So, somewhere shortly after reading that verse in Job, I prayed a different prayer in the dark, and I said:

“God if I can’t die then let me bless you and please show me how to live. I won’t curse you; I’ll bless you if you will show me how to live.”

 And although accepting my wheelchair didn’t happen right then and there in one night , that day was just one in a long series of many days when the Holy Spirit covered my pain and hurt. You see, no longer was it ‘curse God and die’ it was now ‘praise God and live.’ I began to believe and trust that God really did have plans for me — plans for a hopeful future. I decided to follow the One who had the words of life —Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Most of all, Jesus, the Lord of all hope — the Blessed Hope — as it says elsewhere in the Bible.

I don’t know what you’re struggling with today, but perhaps you feel “that’s it, no more, throw in the towel.” Perhaps your future looks impossible, and those words from Job’s wife are decoying you into turning your back on God. Friend, accepting your lot in life may not happen overnight, but today can be one in a series of many days when you find that Jesus paid it all. And He did it all so that youso that you and I could live and live with hope.

© Joni and Friends

 

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