February 22, 1995

Following Jesus Through The Storms of Life

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Of all the people who surrounded Job as he endured his suffering, his wife is a prime target for condemnation. How could a loving wife give such terrible advice? Why wasn't she more supportive of her husband? How could a righteous man like Job have a shrew like her for a wife?

All those seem like perfectly reasonable questions, at least on the surface. But look a little closer. Put yourself in her shoes. Everything he experienced, save the physical suffering, she experienced, too. Those were her ten grown children who died, too. Those were her livestock that were destroyed, too. It was her livelihood that went down the drain, too. When Job lost everything, she lost everything, too.

On top of that, her husband, once known as the greatest man in the entire region, had been reduced to an oozing shell of a person. Her mate was in terrible pain, and she could do nothing to help him. Her security was gone. Her life was shattered.

It's easy to be hard on Mrs. Job, but be honest. How would you have responded to similar circumstances? It's entirely likely that your faith, like hers, might have caved under the weight of such tremendous suffering.

Thankfully, however, her husband's faith stood strong. “You are talking like a foolish woman,” Job chided her. “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10). In the midst of his wife's despair and foolish advice, Job consistently modeled what it meant to follow God. Mrs. Job wouldn't have won an award for being a model wife, but even in the face of adversity, Job continued to exemplify what it meant to be the spiritual leader of his family.

Next time you're tempted to judge someone for her lack of support in a difficult situation, whether it be at home, at work, or somewhere else, put yourself in her shoes. Her response may be weak, immature, or even totally unbiblical. But rather than criticize her, pray that she will have a Job in her life who will come alongside her and model what it means to follow Jesus in the midst of suffering.

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