Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A Plea to Die (Job 3:11-26)

“Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul …?” (Job 3:20).

For many days, Job sat in dust and ashes, scraping the oozing blisters that covered his body. He had no comfort, no rest, no peace. Is it any wonder that he longed to die and even questioned why God kept him alive? The anguish of his soul bleeds through every word: “Why is light given to him who is in misery …?” Many who have suffered unbearable pain have considered death to be better than life. How many family members have watched a loved one suffer for so long that they could not help but wonder why God refused to bring a final end to the pain? Such a time calls for extraordinary trust in the wisdom of Providence. God has ordained all of our days before even one of them comes into existence. In the same way that we must trust God’s goodness when He takes away a loved-one “before their time,” we must be confident that He has a good and righteous reason for keeping those here whom we think should have died long ago.

Because every one of us could fall prey to the calamities of life, at any moment, each of us should prepare for that day and trust that God will deliver us when He sees fit. “Let it be our great and constant care to get ready for another world, and then let us leave it to God to order the circumstances of our removal thither as He thinks fit: ‘Lord, when and how Thou pleasest;’ and this with such an indifference that, if He should refer it to us, we would refer it to Him again,” Henry wrote. “Grace teaches us, in the midst of life’s greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and, in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live.”

One of the most difficult challenges of the Christian life is to come to the point where you surrender your desires utterly to the will of God. When you get to that point, you are even willing to suffer like Job if it is God’s will; or you are willing to die if that is God’s will. This does not mean, that if you are called to live in suffering, that you do not desire to die so that you can be with Christ, but you would not desire to die simply to escape your pain. In this we follow the example of our blessed Savior, who faced the tortures of the cross because it was His Father’s will, and who trusts His father without fail.

Make a list of the characteristics of God that give you reason to trust Him when it comes to situations of life and death, pain and suffering. Look up verses, using your concordance, that highlight those characteristics of God, i.e., God as deliverer, Psalm 40. Meditate on those verses and find comfort in God’s perfect will.