Posted by: Mark | August 23, 2010

Lessons from Job VII

This is a series and the first post is here.

Lessons from Job for when we go through trial

7. Suffering really hurts

When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust in to the air over their heads to show their grief. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. Job 2.12-13

Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb? Job 3.11

See also Job 6.1-14 and Job 7.13-21

I am now in my early thirties and I still play football. Near where I live there is an international school which has a regulation size grass pitch and I play in the tropical heat every week. To be honest this is not that big a deal as there are quite a few guys older than me that play. However, while playing football, I have received my fair share of knocks and bumps. I have, since living here, visited an orthopedic surgeon, physiotherapist or doctor in physical therapy far too many times. I have had a broken ankle, several injuries to my hips, sore knees, a sore neck and other assorted injuries from being mean to my body. I have been in pain and had the appropriate sympathy from my wife to cure me. However, as I look back over these injuries (and the others I got playing rugby when I was younger) I don’t see my greatest pain in physical injury but in trials or mental pain (that is the best way I can describe it as I sit here).

As I scan back over the last few years I can think of times when, because of circumstances, I found it hard to sleep and was “troubled”. These times genuinely hurt. If you know me well you will probably know that I am not prone to crying, except for when I am watching movies. However, the times in my life that have brought me closest to crying are not the times when I was in physical pain but the times when I was going through trials.

When we visit Job at this time he is of course in physical pain with the boils that he was suffering, and when we add to that the horrendous torture of all the other things that had just happened in his life we can only but imagine the real genuine pain he was in. It was to such an extent that when his friends seen him they were so shocked that they just sat with him, still and in silence, for a whole week. The best thing, as friends, that they did.

This is a great thing for me personally to think through and remind myself of – perhaps it is obvious to you. I am more of the ilk that just thinks people should get up and get on with it. Stop moping around would be my attitude. It is good for me to remember the pain that is attached with suffering and when I go through these times to let myself deal with it properly. Apparently bottling up is not a good idea 🙂 When we go through trials do we give ourselves adequate time and care to cope with what has happened? The pain that we feel is not false. I am beginning to sound a little like a counsellor and I am very much not. I speak only from what I have experienced.

To stay in life and the work God has called us to do we need to care for our minds and our bodies. When our bodies get injured we seek a doctor and care and get ourselves sorted. When our minds (or hearts) get injured do we take the same care or do we just ignore it and not deal with it? We of course can always take our cares to our friends, and in some cases to a professional, and this is good and necessary. However, if you are a Christian, you can always take your cares and your troubles to God. He has asked us to cast them all on Him. If we try Him out we will find he is a great comforter and someone who is willing to walk with us through the tough times. If we rely on Him and lean on Him and trust Him surely we will be able to say along with Job:

Though he slay me I will hope in Him Job 13.15a

Just the other day I came across a great article about someone who went through an awful tragedy in her life – actually two. It is interesting reading about it and seeing how she cared for herself and trusted God. You can read it too by downloading this pdf. The story starts on page 6.



  1. “The pain that we feel is not false.”
    Absolutely!! Though it took me a while to allow myself to realize that. Yet even once we let ourselves think that, it is another whole issue to get those around us to allow us the time to deal with it and not expect us to ‘get up and move on’ quickly.

  2. […] Suffering really hurts […]

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