If Job’s story were made into a movie and your family had rented it for tonight, when you came to this part of the story you’d fast-forward; you wouldn’t want your children to watch. It’s not only unedited, it’s raw and borderline heretical!
Some of it is downright offensive. We don’t want to think a man as great as Job in chapters 1 and 2 is the same man you meet in chapter 3. We just don’t want to believe it. Why? Partly because we have this skewed idea that anybody who walks this closely with God lives happily ever after. After all, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Right? If you didn’t know better, you could think you might sprout wings before your conversion is a week old and start to soar through life.
We need to understand that God’s “wonderful plan” is wonderful from His perspective, not yours and mine. To us, “wonderful” means comfortable, healthy, all bills paid, no debt, never sick, happily married with two well-behaved children, a fulfilling, well-paying job, and the anticipation of nothing but blessing and success and prosperity forever. That’s “wonderful” to us. But God’s wonderful plan is not like that.
Job brings us back to raw reality—God’s kind of reality. Remember his question, the one he asked his wife? “Shall we accept good from God and not accept adversity?” And remember that closing line? “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).
The same man soon steps into a whole new frame of reference. That’s why Job 3 makes us uneasy. We don’t want our hero to think or talk as he does here. He doesn’t seem as if he’s a man of God anymore. He even has the audacity to say at the end, “I am not at ease. I am not quiet. I am not at rest. I am in turmoil.” What has happened? We’re given entrance into a dark side of Job’s life that is as real as any of our lives today, but the difference is, Job lets it all out. Thankfully, he reminds us that even the godly can be depressed.
Have you ever been seriously depressed? God is still there.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.