Friday, September 27, 2013

In Her Sandals -- Job's Wife

I have grieved and grieved heavily for a baby that would not be, and I have momma friends who have outlived one of their babies, but I’ve NEVER known a momma who has lost all her children at one time. Once again, this is a woman whose sandals I didn’t want to strap on, and when I did, I’m amazed at her strength and fortitude.

Job’s wife was put through the ringer, wasn’t she? She was sifted and tested alongside her husband. In everything that happened, her husband did not sin against God, but truth be known, in all those years, there’s only one time when his wife gave into weakness, into temptation. Isn’t it amazing how we remember how a person fails as opposed to all the things she must have endured and the times she must have succeeded. These tests didn’t just happen over a couple of days. The effects of these tests lasted for years. I’ve been around women who mourn and grieve, and you know, on average it takes about four to five years for them to really come out of the dark to the other side to realize that life goes on and that it’s okay to have joy without guilt. Not only that, but God restored. He didn’t restore immediately. Job’s wife didn’t birth ten babies at one time. It was over a span of years that He restored, and He didn’t restore with the exact same children. Job and his wife’s future while in God’s hands changed from one course to another. They probably had their first group of kids when they were young parents. Now they are ten to twenty years older making them a different kind of parent, and not only did their age change, but their wisdom and trust in God had grown exponentially. This has to affect the way they parented. Job’s wife’s life did not end when her babies died. She probably wished it had at times. But as we see it, Job’s wife had several seasons in her life: a season of blessing, a season of loss and grief, and a season of restoration.

The Lord gives and He takes away (Job 1:21). Some people don’t like the book of Job because they can’t fathom a God who would allow one of his children to endure such hardship at the hands of Satan, and all because Satan wanted to prove a point which I might add that he failed to do. I don’t believe for one moment that God used Job as a source of entertainment or as a wager with Satan. God knew that Job could withstand the testing and would put defeat Satan’s theories. You see, we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against principalities (Eph 6:12). God knew that Job with God by his side could handle this test, could endure the hardship. God filtered everything that Job endured. Our spiritual warfare is filtered through God’s fingers. We have to be equipped and wearing the armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6.

Sometimes good things happen to God’s people. Sometimes bad things happen to God’s people. We live in a fallen world. Expect it to happen, but when the bad comes, where is your shield of faith? When thoughts that are against God creep into your mind look for the helmet of salvation because we are to think on the things that are true (Phil 4:8). And when waves after waves of hardship pound on you so you feel like you are going to drown, hold tight to the Word of God which is the sword. Job held tight to his breastplate of righteousness, and you know what? He never got the answer to the question, “why.” Job trusted God, and his wife saw that. She witnessed Job’s trust in God. She benefited from his trust and faith.

Then there are people in our lives who should be there to support or encourage us, but end up doing the exact opposite. They honestly feel like they are helping or know what’s going on. They make judgments and give advice on their limited knowledge and understanding. Job prayed for those friends. By praying for them, Job was heaping ashes on their heads. He was lifting them up to his God. It is a step in forgiving, and it was after that prayer that God started restoration.

Here’s the thing about Job’s wife, she stuck through thick and thin. There’s no indication that the second set of children was born to a different wife. Wife is used singularly throughout this book. She endured some crazy hardships. And while there was a moment she wanted to her husband to give up and die, the point is she was still there with him and even after her moment of weakness and defeat. I’m sure there were days when she herself didn’t want to go on, to get out of the bed, or to put one foot in front of the other, but she did. And she did so to take care of her ailing husband. That, my friend, is a woman of strength…In Job’s wife’s sandals.

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