Today's Reading: Job 10-13
I'm someone who wants to be heard. My guess is most of us are. We want to be understood and we want to understand what is happening around us. St. Francis of Assisi shares in his prayer that it is better to understand someone else than to be understood by them. This is especially true in the midst of conflict. Listening is important. But what if the other party in the conflict is giving you the silent treatment?
Today, we find Job still arguing his self described, "un-win-able" argument. Though he is not "cursing" God, he is going at God in fifth gear! It is as if he is taunting the silent sleeping giant who holds him captive. "Though you have the upper hand and can swat me like a fly, I will speak!"
What tenacity! What courage! Or foolishness! Which one is it?
The three who were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace in Daniel, borrow Job's wisdom but twist it out of context. They say: Though the Lord may not rescue us, we still will not bow down to anything but God. Job says: Though God may slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways before Him.
Job, then asks for two things:
Take your hand (of pain) off of me and
Quit scaring me. 13:21
Tell me what I've done wrong!
Why are you treating me like I'm the enemy?
If you tell me, I'll try to respond appropriately.
Job feels like an innocent, condemned and tortured prisoner of God. Job, as his name confesses, feels HATED by God.
His friend, Zophar "sparrow," says: Plead guilty and then accept what is coming to you.
But good ole man of integrity Job says: I haven't done anything wrong!
I am so drenched in the concept that I am LOVED by God, that thinking God would ever HATE me is unthinkable. Of course, I have never suffered to the depth Job has suffered. True, his physical sufferings are overwhelming. But, imagine the suffering a friend of God would bear if that one truly believed God hated him.
Is this the suffering of the martyrs? Is this the suffering of those persecuted for righteousness sake? Is this the suffering Jesus felt on the cross when he bore all our sin?
Today, let us lift up those friends of God who are suffering persecution and are trying to understand their physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?