Continued affliction caused Job to go deeper into despair. He became his own defense attorney in this chapter and vented his complaint to God with bitterness of soul. The gist of his questions was:
- What charges to You have against me? (10:2)
- Does it please You to oppress me and spurn the work of Your hands? (10:3, 8; 14:15; Psalm 139:13, 15)
- Why was I even born? (10:18)
- Can't I just die and get it over with? (10:20-22)
REFLECTION (written in 2009)
Job began to wallow in self-pity. When we face baffling affliction, our pain lures us toward feeling sorry for ourselves. At this point, we are only one step from self-righteousness, where we keep track of life's injustices and say, "Look what happened to me; how unfair it is!" We may feel like blaming God. Remember that life's trials, whether allowed by God or sent by God, can be the means for development and refinement. When facing trials, ask "What can I learn and how can I grow?" rather than "Who did this to me and how can I get out of it?"
(Life Application Bible, p. 854)I got to know my friend, R, in 2005-2006 when she was struggling through the pain of infertility. She was on all sorts of treatments that left her very uncomfortable and sick most of the time. The group of us who gathered around her prayed over and cried with her a ton that year, and she ended up conceiving on the month when she was not on the fertility drugs and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in November of 2006.
Now, she is trying for a second child, and she has not conceived. So, she is on those same fertility drugs with the accompanying discomfort, but her attitude is different, reflecting three years of incredible growth in her understanding of God and His purposes for her life.
The other night on the phone, as we were both making dinner (What can I say? We are both multi-taskers!), she relayed to me words that brought tears to my eyes. I am paraphrasing here:
"Carol, you know I was just telling K and N at church the other day that it isn't so much that God did this miracle, and I was able to have my daughter in the end, although that is a miracle and a blessing from Him, but that I grew through the process. I am not trying to brag here, but so many people seem to think they are in control of things. They get pregnant easily because that is what they planned; and because they didn't struggle with infertility, they think they have some control over it, but they don't either. Through my inferility last time, I realized that God is in control of everything and has a purpose for things like inferility. I think God is much more concerned with what we learn in the process than the end result. So, this time around, I am not as concerned about the end result of having a baby because I know that God is in control. That may be the only thing that results from this and no baby, it doesn't mean things won't be sad or messy in the process, but I welcome the process because I know it will help me understand God more."By Jove (or maybe we should say "Job." LOL!), I think she's got it!!!!!
My friend is asking: "What can I learn and how can I grow." Wise friend!
2012 Update: She gave birth to a bouncing baby boy at the end of 2009. Her second was also conceived in the interim between fertility treatments. :)
When you face trials, do you feel like God is out to get you or do you ask, "What can I learn and how can I grow from this?"
Lord, teach us to learn and go deeper with You through all that we encounter in this messy life. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.