Job’s Storms

Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
September 26, 2022

Today’s Readings:

Job on the Dunghill – Gonzalo Carrasco

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we have the first of six readings from the wonderful Book of Job, that magnificent ancient poem which explores the human relationship with God.

“The book of Job in its three parts of narrative-poetry-narrative is a daring, majestic fugue that renders theological trouble and submissiveness in all of its immense complexity. The whole of the drama is to be fully appreciated in its inexhaustible artistry, and not interpreted so that it is made to conform to any of our ready-made theological packages.” 

Walter Brueggemann, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination, 2003

The story opens with Satan annoying God with a plot against Job by suggesting that Job loves God only because God blesses Job:

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?”
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
“Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?

To test out his thesis, Satan strikes a deal with God to go vex the heck out of poor Job:

And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person.”
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Hopefully, we will learn something about ourselves and our relationship with God as we pray with Job over the next six readings. It is a simple book to read but a challenging one to understand. The poem seems to center on humankind’s recurring question to God: Why do good people have to suffer? But it is really about much more than that.

Job is a soul of unshakeable faith. Never once does he deny or abandon God. But he stands up to a God he doesn’t yet understand. He rails, he argues, he quiets, he listens. The book is really about that growing understanding and faith. Job’s questions are our questions. Job’s storms are our storms. Job’s journey into grace is our journey:

  • How do we relate to the inscrutable mystery of God’s Love when the circumstances of our life seem bereft of it?
  • How do we remain faithful when God seems to be silent to our pleading?
  • How do we continue to choose good when the choice seems foolish and unrewarding?

Like Job, is my faith strong enough to choose God even in the midst of all these “how’s”? Will I allow my heart to remain open to the intense truth of that Love as my life reveals it to me?

Poetry: Reversed Thunder – Malcolm Guite

This light is muffled, muted, murky, dense.
Thick with a threat of thunder unreleased.
The clouds are darkening, the air grows tense,
The coming storm is lowering in the east
Something within me trembles too, and pales,
Though no one sees the brooding darkness there,
Or feels the tension building between poles
Of faith and doubt, of vision and despair.
Everything deepens, gathers to a head:
Anguish and anger at my absent God
Until the charge of all that’s left unsaid
Leaps out at last to find its lightening rod.

But even as the skies are rent and riven
I find that lightening rod is earthed in heaven.

Music: Across the View – Richard Burmer

3 thoughts on “Job’s Storms

  1. Lucille Hillerman

    I think the lesson I have learned from Job is, I have accepted so many blessings from God, I need to also accept it when things do not go my way. This was heart and mind provoking. Thank you, Renee!❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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