Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hanging out with Job

" . . . In all of this Job did not sin by blaming God." Job 1:22

Somehow in all the times I've read the book of Job I missed the last line of this verse. I think because we always focus on the first part, "The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord . . ." I've talked about it before, but I know my theology has made a mess of my faith at times. I was raised immersed in the sovereignty of God, a beautiful truth I hold dear. Floating on the top of this grace was a message of sin somehow being connected to suffering. Not just because it originated there in Adam but always inferring there must be some kind of cause and effect even in the Christian's life between unrooted sin and the need for chastisement through physical pain and difficult life circumstances. I have often not been able to get my head through some of the half truths and the spirit they were taught in to breath real air in my walk with God.

I spent my late teenage years and early twenties running as far away from God as I could. My family had gone through a painful church split and everything I thought I believed about people who loved God was in question. I openly and blatantly rebelled in drunkeness, promiscuity and even heavy drug use. Through time God gently called me back to Himself, and my wounds from those decisions began to heal over. As soon as something painful would happen the "bad theology" would start to pick open the sore spots and fester. I would immediately think I was still being punished for the hideous things I did. I did not fully understand my sins were completely and totally covered. There was no more condemnation. I was redeemed.

Tonight I am in so much physical pain I can barely function. For over ten years I have suffered from severe endometriosis. Around the time I had my first laparoscopy, in 2001, was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The combination of these two very painful conditions over the last decade has tested my faith perhaps more than any other thing. I was laying here crying with this stabbing pain in my belly, and I thought about my friend, Job. God made me pick up his story and read it again. There was no sin being punished in his life as Job's friends suggested. There was no big answer to the "why" questions when God took everything away from Him and struck him down physically. God was in control, but He was not to blame. Only someone who knows God in an intimate way can really wrap their head around this and trust in it. At the end of Job he could say, "I had heard about you before but now I have seen you with my own eyes." Job 42:5

I want to see. I may never have an answer for Danica's Chiari. I may never be healed from my endo and fibro and may suffer physical pain the rest of my life. Tonight I am burdened for a friend who has had another failed fertility treatment and whose barren womb echoes in her heart and life every second of every day. I grieve for my friend who has suffered cancer three times and whose own body is wracked with the effects of chemo and so many surgeries and so much pain. I pray for a friend who lost her baby a year ago tomorrow and is still not pregnant again. I am frantic over a Chiari friend's son, Tristan, who was in the hospital in Cincinnati the same time as Danica and had to have another emergency surgery tonight because his shunt failed. Where is the hope in all this suffering?

St. Augustine wrote, "The whole point of this life is the healing of the heart's eye through which God is seen." He is the hope. I am healing in the places that matter most. "That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed everyday." II Corinthians 4:16

(Praise God with me tonight as my Lupron shots were approved! Praying the first one will be shipped quickly to Dr. Romero, and I can begin treatment sometime next week. Danica had a good day. We made it through the drywall glue smell and constant hammering and screwing from the basement work. This is the second day we have her down to only taking her muscle relaxer and pain medicine at night. I peeked into her brace today, and her incision looks really good. We have much to be thankful for!)


  1. Thank you for writing this. I think it will speak volumes to Greg, as no one really understands what he is going through. But I am sure Job did. And I know God does. But, even I don't. I live with it, cry over it, pray for it to go away, and believe it will, in THIS lifetime, but while we wait...we believe, even when it doesn't make sense to our own small understanding. We know God is bigger. Thanks for sharing ll Corin:4:16 I think I am going to write it on a card, and tape it to the bathroom mirror now before I go to bed. You are another example of a Godly faithful woman. So glad to have heard your story and be privileged to pray for you all. Much love to you and family. Carol

  2. Dear Monica, thank you for telling the truth in your blog. Once during severe trial a friend shared with me the words of Scripture, "sacrifice of praise." There are at least two ways praise is a sacrifice: one, we give up the right to the thing we think we need or want; two, we give up the right to know why. That has helped me many a dark night of my soul. Praying daily for your hope to remain and your joy to grow as the morning approaches.

  3. Oh, friend. Clinging to God's sovereignty with you and praying for freedom from this skewed gospel to which we were enslaved. You are not to blame. Sometimes we just need to hear someone else say it. I read this from Paul Tripp the other day (and our dear Julie P. had it on her FB profile, too):

    "He meets you in one of the difficult hallways of your life, kneels down before you in condescending love, and asks you to trust his loving and wise rule, even though you don’t have a clue what he is doing."

    He loves you, dear one. You are his daughter, and just as you would never punish one of your own dear girls with any of these struggles you've had, He is not punishing you. You're forgiven. You're loved. You're worthy. You're beautiful.

    I love you.