I was never comfortable reading the Book of Job and the message about suffering. I explained it away by saying it was old fashioned – like this picture of him and his friends, it’s not my style – and had been superseded by Jesus Christ on the cross. My stance was that it was no longer relevant to us today and that thinking was placed in a box, tied with string and hidden away. Deep down though, I was not entirely convinced.
It was when I became a chronic fatigue sufferer, that I had to look at Job afresh and change my thinking.
The enemy dealt a devastating blow to Job, who lost all that was precious to him. He constantly questioned God in an honest search for truth. He just didn’t understand where he had gone wrong. But in all that he did not lose his integrity and he did not deny God. Furthermore his friends were no help, but after he prayed for them he was reinstated. God even gave him twice as much as he had before.
I have not suffered like Job, but in my devastation I did seek answers from God to understand what was happening. I questioned because I honestly wanted to know what God was saying to me in the situation. I believe that was right, but if the questioning turns into complaining, that’s another thing.
I admit that when the discomfort or pain was great, I did complain at times. After all it is only natural when we are in distress. My attitude was bordering on saying something like, “You don’t know what you are doing God, and I don’t trust You!” A defining point came when I was at a low point, fatigue had been high for weeks on end and I wondered how much more I could take. It shook me to realise that I was angry with God for allowing this to continue.
Eventually a time came when questioning and complaining had to stop and I surrendered to God in complete trust. I had received God’s Word that He would heal me and I believed He would do what he said He would do, in His way and His time. It pained me to realise just how long this surrender process had taken. It seemed like wasted time.
I didn’t lose as much as Job, but I did lose what I considered very important and dear to me. Those things gave me standing and a reputation. I’ve lost the reputation and become a nobody, but my testimony of God working in my life is intact.
Most of my friends were involved with my activity and gradually drifted away when that stopped. I felt some of them have let me down, but I have forgiven them and pray for them. I have been partially healed and I am expectant for the rest. I believe I will get back what has been taken from me, but I realise that things will never be the same as before.
I am moving forward and the best is yet to come.