- Job 3:1-26
- Job 4:1-5:27
- Job 6:1-7:21
Job seems to be an all or nothing kind of guy. Was this passage unfolds, his friend, Eliphaz, asks Job where his patience is. Eliphaz shares all the faithfulness of God and encourages Job to wait on the Lord. But Job’s response is so much like ours:
“Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope, that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?” –Job 6:8-11, ESV
Job’s perspective seems to be that if the Lord will allow affliction to this level, the Lord might as well end his life completely. Job isn’t interested in waiting to see how the Lord will resolve the situation. Later in chapter 7, Job begs to be shown what he has done wrong that he may fix it. This plea is an extension of the same thought: let this be fixed so it can be over.
We beg from God the same: let this be fixed so this can be over. Our patience wavers in the experience of tragedy. We beg the coming of Christ. Or the coming of death. Or the coming of change. We just want something, anything to change. On a much smaller level, there was a time in my life when you could tell my stress level by my haircut. If I suddenly showed up with my mid-back locks cut to shoulder-length, you could bet that I needed something to change so out came the scissors. The change rarely, if ever, had to do with my hair. But I knew I could change that thing, and even if it turned out badly, it would grow out eventually.
When you feel the need of something, anything to change, beware. This is a time when rash words can be said, promises can be made that shouldn’t or even promises broken you would never have considered before. When you beg for change, be careful. For as Job was just in the middle of what would become a phenomenal story, his requests only reflected the middle. He could not know the future, and begged for immediate change when the long-term change was for his greater benefit.
Wait for the Lord. For all you know, you may just be experiencing the middle of your own phenomenal story’s end.