You are about halfway through Job’s poetry over this five-week series. By now, you may be a little tired of him. You have watched his mood swing from grief to anger to lament to righteous indignation, and his friends’ early sympathy turn into accusations. It never seems to be over.
Living through grief is like riding an emotional rollercoaster. As time passes, you start to experience some good days, but really sad days still pop up. You think you are getting better, and then you break down crying. There’s no timetable. There’s no finish line to grief, which you can cross and say, “At least I’m done with that.”
After my parents died, my brothers and I faced the daunting task of cleaning out the house that had been our childhood home. Surprisingly, those trips back home became grief therapy. I cried while reading my parents’ letters, and gained new appreciation for the love that shaped me. Thumbing through old baseball cards and dusting off the ping-pong table in the basement brought back kind memories. In my dad’s workroom, filled with his tools, I would close my eyes and sit for a while, smelling him in the sawdust and grease. It took us almost two years to sort, sell, give, and throw away the house’s contents. At times it seemed as if we would never get done. Yet somewhere along the way, those trips moved me from being broken-hearted that my parents were gone and that my preschool-aged children would never know them to feeling fully blessed that they had been my parents.
Job’s return to despair is part of the emotional rollercoaster of grief. Reading five weeks of Job gives you a taste of it. Though, in this case, there is a finish line.
Name a time when you rushed something and regretted it. What can time alone do to prepare you for the next thing God has for you?
God, grow patience in me. Make me aware of all that is going on around and within me so that I can live this day fully and learn what I need for tomorrow. Amen.