The story of suffering

I am finishing the book of Job, the account of a man being tested by the Lord through loss of money, his family, and his health. Much can be said about this, but I want to share a couple of thoughts from the end of the book.

This is the text:
‘After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions.  All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances  came to his house and dined with him in his house. They sympathized with him and comforted him concerning all the adversity the Lord had brought on him. Each one gave him a qesitah   and a gold earring.
So the Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the first. He owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named his first daughter Jemimah, his second Keziah, and his third Keren-happuch.  No women as beautiful as Job’s daughters could be found in all the land, and their father granted them an inheritance with their brothers.
Job lived 140 years after this and saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. Then Job died, old and full of days.’ HSCB Translation

What I notice is that God didn’t comfort Job, his brothers and sisters did. They were sympathetic and comforting. There is a sense of community there. God’s plan is  for us to live in community. He works through his people.

How healing to be understood and validated by others. Isn’t it true that we long to experience love?

In AA we say, as one of the AA promises is that ‘no matter how far down the scale we have gone. We will see how our experience can benefit others.’ Why? Because we get it. We have sympathy, and empathy. We have been there. Empathy is hard to come by. The only reason I have any is by the grace of God getting me through many difficulties.

The other thing is God’s restoration to Job, family, money. And health. He died content in old age.

I believe this is what God does for his children. I don’t believe it necessarily occurs in this life. I think God will sit us down to a banquet with brothers and sisters to give us comfort and sympathy.

Revelation 21:1–4 says –
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away
(Revelation 21:4).

Why would we be crying? I think is due to the hurts we have had in this life. I don’t know what other people feel, but I ache for understanding. For someone to understand. I take comfort in knowing God will wipe away my tears. I look forward to be a part in comforting others and being comforted.

Doesn’t that sound lovely?

The story of suffering

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