Recently, my children and I read through the book of Job in the Bible. We have read through it many times, but this year we saw it in a new light, due to the fact that we, ourselves, suffered a great deal of tragedy, lose, and even injustice in the past months.
Why did God allow Satan access to Job, why did He let Job suffer so much pain and lose? Why did God not give Job a more understanding wife and friends? Why do bad things happen to good people? This is a question we all ask at times.
All of Jobs animals and children died at once. This had to be the worst case of PTSD, ever. I can’t even imagine such great lose. Can you?
But, even with this great lose, Job stood in His faith in Yehovah’s righteousness. It wasn’t until he suffered physically in his body that he really started to wonder about God’s sovereignty. Then his friends questioned his righteousness, and Job cursed the day he was born. And this was Job’s sin, he questioned God for making him and allowing him to live and now suffer pain and shame.
Have you ever questioned God and his plan for you? Have you ever wondered why God allows some to suffer and be afflicted?
All my life I have suffered with sickness. As a child, I remember my mom taking me to lots of doctors. As a teen and young woman I not only suffered from physical pain, but also emotional instability. I cried out to Yehovah to take the pain and suffering away, especially when I was exhausted. I thought maybe I didn’t trust Him enough to heal me, or maybe I had sin to deal with before He would heal me.
But Yeshua cleansed the lame man from his sins, and then afterward healed his lameness. So, what is the lesson in all this.
A few days ago, I woke with a ear ache. I didn’t think much about it, but each day it got worse and worse. I prayed and asked Yehovah to heal it or to show me a treatment for it. By Saturday night my whole left side of my head and face were swollen and inflamed. I tossed and turned and cried out for healing until 6 am. Then my husband, woke up and said, “Ok, I am taking you to the emergency room.” We got in the car and headed to the ER. I prayed, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me in this situation?”
Most of my close friends and family know that about six years ago, I was officially diagnosised with Hoshimotos Thyroidism. After about two years of medical treatment and making some lifestyle changes, my body seemed to be at a healthy place, and I did not need any special medication. The hoshimotos didn’t go away, it was just under control. Then a crisis happened in my life, and my stress level went up tremendously. The number one enemy of any autoimmune disorder is unmanaged STRESS. So, a little over a year ago, I began having lots of flare ups and adrenaline attacks. I couldn’t control them, and it seemed they wanted to control me. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t function some days, and I felt horrible.
Like Job, the circumstances that surrounded me were out of my control, and the way my body was reacting to this was also out of my control. Because of these flare ups my immune system is down, and I have struggled with sickness after sickness these past months. I have had the church leadership lay hands on me and pray for my healing, and I have received healing in the past, so I believe healing is in Yeshua. But yet, my body does not feel healed. In fact, it feels sick.
So, as I go to the ER, I am pondering the suffering of Job, and I am wondering what is it that Yehovah is trying to teach me through my affliction. Job heard from God in the end and God rebuked him for his lack of humility. Job finished his season of suffering, which was probably years, with the understanding that God is sovereign. Job confessed that he in his affliction forgot his place.
Job didn’t deserve to suffer such lose or pain, but Job also did deserve it. Because we all are sinners and deserve punishment, but God in His mercy chooses to redeem us to himself. God redeemed Job in His timing and in His Way.
So, as I sat in the ER waiting to be treated, I was thinking on all these things, and wondering why I had to have this painful ear ache. The doctor comes in and does his exam, and reports that it is NOT an ear ache, but rather a infection under the skin. I asked “well, what caused it?” He said probably a small scratch. I quickly recalled that I had a dry patch of skin on my earlobe about a week earlier and had scratched it open. It was no longer on my earlobe, but apparently it had caused this infection. The inflammation from this infection has caused my ear to swell shut. I was born with hearing lose, and my strong ear is my left ear. So, because of this infection, I can barely hear. My kids think it is funny, because apparently I keep saying my words wrong and don’t even realize it, and I can’t hear them talking to me either. Lastly, the pain from this infection is constant and extreme. Nothing seems to even take the edge off the pain.
Wow, do you see the lesson here?
A small affliction can become a source of great pain and suffering, and left unattended can cause us to be unable to hear clearly the voice of Yehovah. When we are being pressed from all sides it is easy to become unbalanced and even nauseous.
The pressure in my ear, is like the pressure Job’s friends placed on him in his affliction. It causes things to be distorted.
Yehovah God, promised to heal and restore us, He promises to be with us through the storms of life, and the afflictions of life. But He asks us to trust Him, to obey Him, to walk in His Ways. We have to want to have clean hands and pure hearts. We have to desire to go through the refining fire.
Affliction is not a sign of sin, it is a place for growth.