How can a person think, process and know what is true when all thought travels through filters that are distorted?
Job and his wife sat in grief. There is a rawness that I believe God invites when tragedy hits. We see the process of emotions best through David’s psalms.
Job’s friends started off well. They were silent for a whole week and just sat with Job. But then they opened their mouths with good intentions and half-truths. The half-truths convinced themselves that they must be right, yet they did not see the whole picture. It’s like they started to enjoy the sound of their own voice and because it was rational, they no longer heard Job’s cries or his perception. There is no mention of them seeking the Lord at any point to hear what He might have to say. It was more comfortable for them to make a conclusion and stick with it increasing their own self-righteousness. Yet at the same time, all with the desire to love Job in truth and want to see his life get better again. There is such a discomfort in the unknowns. There is a comfort in feeling like we can regain control and formalize the strategy plan to move forward.
Job as well cries out and his worship that he began with didn’t remain. He found himself instead in self-pity. So to me there is the distinguishing line between grieving and expressing the pain, confusion, etc. and allowing it to become self-pity.
When God answered, He did not give any explanations or answers to the questions posed. God did not speak into the conversation rehearsing what was right and what was wrong. He simply declared WHO HE IS. The great I AM. The questions of “why?” and “how come?” Are not answered. Job and his friends are confronted to simply acknowledge God is who He says He is.
It doesn’t end there. God wants each person restored to a right relationship with Him. God’s heart is not just to correct, but to bring into a deeper relationship. Yet to restore, Job has to pray for his friends, and they have to let him. Act of humility on both sides. Job has just sat for how many hours being berated into further grief because his “friends” are blaming him and accusing him and not listening to him. His friends have to admit their wrong before God and Job. Sometimes its easier to confess to God and receives His forgiveness than to admit it one another. Yet when we can confess and forgive and pray for one another when the most vulnerable places in our lives our wounded, we can deeper relationships and allow the Spirit to create a stronger unity and trust. It not only brought Job encouragement, it strengthened the body of believers.