Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
Yes, I know that the book is left off the title’s usual book, chapter, and verse reference. I would like to see if you might can recall what biblical character might have asked such a question? If you don’t know, don’t feel bad about it; neither will I keep you in suspense for long. But, I do want you to know that this was a legitimate question asked by someone who is quite a famous character. He was in terrific physical and emotional anguish at the time as might be obvious from the question he asked. We will consider this famous man and his question, the question for which he is not so famous.
We quote more of this man’s lament: “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived.’ May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor the light shine upon it. May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, may darkness seize it; May it not rejoice among the days of the year, May it not come into the number of the months. Oh, may that night be barren! May no joyful shout come into it! May those curse it who curse the day, Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan. May the stars of its morning be dark; May it look for light, but have none, And not see the dawning of the day; Because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s womb, Nor hide sorrow from my eyes. Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? (??Book?? 3.3-11).
Without knowing more of the man who spoke these words, do you have a mental image of him and/or his character? As a further hint, his name is a household word and is often used in conjunction with a positive human trait. To further narrow down your choices, the man was known for his patience! Yes that's right, his patience. Even though at this point in his life he seems to be in despair, the overarching trait which characterized Job was his willingness and capacity to endure hardship. To put his words in context you are invited to read the first two chapters of the book of Job, but suffice it to say he had lost everything physically, he had lost his family, and he had lost his health. A more loathsome creature could hardly be imagined! These things are what brought him to the brink of breaking and they form the background for the dark, dark day Job depicted as the day of his birth.
The ordeals which Job endured are unimaginable to most of us. While it is true that we all suffer hardships, at least we usually get some breathing room between them. Or as we sometimes used to say, “Mama said there would be days like this, but she didn’t say they would all come in bunches!” Well, Job’s difficult days came in bunches! There was not time so much as to catch his breath as differnt messengers came to inform Job of calamity after calamity. As the final straw, Job’s health left him in sheer misery; sores and boils covered him from head to toe. His wife, his supportive wife (I speak sarcastically), eventually said to him, “Curse God and die.” (Job 2.9). Then to top this off, three of his so-called friends came to comfort him and to beg him to confess the sins that had brought him so low! What else could assault him? Nothing! He was in the lowest possible position of life and it is here that we hear him ask, “Why did I not die at birth?”
The moral of this story is this: Regardless of the issues with which you are currently dealing, you can hold onto God. Although Job wavered from time to time, he never lost it or cursed God as his wife had suggested. By continuing to hold to God’s unchanging hand, the legacy of Job has come down to us as the great man that he was. Had Job given up, I think there would scarce have been a mention of him in history and his name would not even be so much as mentioned in today’s culture. Hold on!
1. What is patience? Is patience ever discouraged? If so, was Job patient? Was he discouraged at the time he spoke the words that form the title to today’s article?
2. What did Job’s wife mean when she told him, “Curse God and die”?
3. Ought we to be ashamed or embarrassed when we are discouraged? Does God expect that of us from time to time? Can we be forgiven of such human weaknesses? Why did you answer the way you did?
4. Will God reward patience? Will these rewards always come in this lifetime? Can we truly know “Heaven will surely be worth it all”? How?
"Today's Little Lift" from
Nothing But... (2 Kings 4:2)Read Article »
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Today's Little Lift" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.