“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”- Job 2:10
Most people have a tendency to avoid pain. That explains why we quickly flip through the channel when images of children diagnosed with cancer, or poverty stricken children in developing countries appear on our TV screens. That’s why we don’t get excited about going to hospitals or funerals, because of the uncomfortable emotions they stir up in us. That’s the reason we procrastinate over completing tasks that our brain categorizes as “work”. We avoid, ignore or numb our emotional suffering.
Through the story of Job, we read about his intense emotional and physical ordeal, as a result of circumstances that God allowed. God’s wife in her frustration, tells Job to “curse God and die!”. In other words, get yourself out of this situation. That’s us. We want God to shield us from any suffering or discomfort. We pray for God to get us out of our troubles instead of asking Him for the grace to suffer through them. I often remember an exercise we did in graduate school, to teach us to “sit with painful emotions”, instead of running from them.In his book “The Road Less Traveled”, Scott Peck wrote: “Life is difficult…Once we truly understand and accept it, then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
In the midst of deep distress, Job held fast to his faith and trust in God’s sovereignty and benevolence. Jesus’ promise of peace was followed by the guarantee that there would be suffering. (John 16:33). This tells us that God will not always keep us from trouble, but we can have peace, knowing God is with us, and He’s working all things for our good.