In today’s story Jesus encounters a man who is going through one of the most difficult trials of life: the sickness and death of a child.
As you read the story note the contrast between the man and his friends and their attitude about what has happened and the attitude of Jesus. They are naturally distraught. What does Jesus say in the narrative?
Jesus raises the girl from the dead and that does not happen today. But is there any sense in which what Jesus says IS true when we lose loved ones today?
How can we be more like Jesus?
Last Sunday we looked at Job 3. Job’s losses are recorded in chapters 1 and 2. In chapter 1 he lost his possessions, servants, and his seven sons and three daughters. In chapter 2 he lost his own health. We noted his remarkably strong and courageous initial response – he expressed his grief, but he kept his faith in God: “the Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21).
In chapter 3, some time has passed and his tone has changed. Chapter 3 records him crying out to God. 7 times he asks “why?”. “Why was I born?” Why can’t I just die? We are not suggesting he lost his faith, but he seems to be breaking down and is overwhelmed by his anguish.
One point we considered is that godly people don’t always just “sing and be happy”. His losses were fearfully painful and we see here very real anguish expressed by a very godly man.
We also thought about how when someone suffers great loss, the initial responses are sometimes very brave. The first few days they are occupied with decisions and are surrounded by friends, and may simply be in a state of shock. Job 3 made us think of how sometime later, after a funeral, when everyone is gone, reality begins to settle in. Those can be the toughest days.
What can we learn from Job’s very real grief in chapter 3, about how we can help those who are suffering?
Filed under Grief, Job, Trials