With our 25th wedding anniversary just days away, I wanted to repost this word from 2013. Not because it’s sweet, but because these are the times that make a marriage strong. God was teaching me much about being real before him, the beauty of the ugly prayer, and what our wedding vows really meant. I trust this still encourages wives today.
“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” ~ Job 2:10b
man, she had a life of ease. No doubt she was the envy of other women. Then things got really…really bad.
Her ten children were killed at one time. A trusted team of servants were killed and valuable herds destroyed, resulting in financial ruin. And her once strong, influential husband was afflicted with a horrific puss-oozing skin disease.
I mean, can you imagine watching your man trying to ease his pain by scraping shards of pottery across his skin? While he sat in ashes. On top of a pile of trash.
So many words come to mind. She had to be exhausted. Fearful. Confused. In an emotional tailspin. And consumed by grief upon grief.
She is Job’s wife. And her life was in shambles. Scripture quotes her only once, but her words and tone are memorable.
“Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you?” she lashes out at Job. “Curse God and be done with it!” (Which translates “so God will kill you and make your misery go away”.)
At one time I would have self-righteously wondered why she wasn’t struck by lightning. Or thought she must not have loved God enough. Or prayed enough. Or read the Word enough. Or served enough. Or whatever enough.
But not now.
Several years ago Jim and I came under Satan’s attack. We did not lose children, but loved ones died. We did not watch large wealth disappear, but Jim’s livelihood did when he lost his job. There were no disfiguring diseases, but several family and friends would soon be diagnosed with physical and mental illnesses.
I went into supportive spouse mode. Denying my own sense of loss to be my husband’s cheerleader, I smiled and pushed through tough days. ‘Cause that’s what a good wife does, right?
Then, tired and emotionally drained, I had my “quote of Biblical proportions” moment. I was angry. Angry about the pain. Angry our lives had changed. Angry nothing would ever be the same. What was said will stay between Jim and me. But in that moment I knew…
I had become Job’s wife.
Grieving loss took me places I never dreamed possible. It played games with my mind and distorted my judgment. As time went on I wondered if these trials would ever end. Surprisingly, it was this much maligned woman who gave me hope.
We aren’t given details, but a close look at the rest of the story reveals she was more than one bad quote in one desperate moment.
No matter how bad it got, she stuck it out.
Stayed with him through his lowest days of rejection, loneliness, and frustration (Job 19).
She was faithfully by his side when others abandoned him. And God restored their lives, blessing them beyond what they could imagine (Job 42).
Distance gives perspective. I can sympathize with Job’s wife. She spoke those earlier words, it seems, not because she was wicked. Or rebellious. Or cruel. Because she was real, honest in a raw moment of her life. Someone who didn’t pretend everything would be okay. But was loyal and steadfast and didn’t quit.
My life is not marked with the suffering Job’s wife endured. But because of where God continues to walk with me, I get her. Perhaps you do, too.
Has your life been rocked and you aren’t sure how to respond? Trust God, Who will tenderly care for you through the process. And don’t worry ~ if you cry out in angry pain, He can handle it. Trust me.
He will be faithful to remind you an action of ugliness does not make you a bad wife.
It’s going the distance that counts.
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