Suffering and the Book of Job

Suffer- undergo or feel pain or distress (Dictionary.com)

Suffering- The state of a person or thing that suffer (Dictionary.com)

I’m Catholic and since Easter is tomorrow I’m focusing on one of the main tenants of the holiday. Suffering. But instead of writing about Jesus being crucified, I’m writing about Job.

Job is a faithful person who God tests after Satan bets that he only obeys because of the blessings he has. Job’s wealth and children are taken away from him, but he still has faith. His wife and friends tell him to curse God, but he replies that God has not abandon him. Job asks God why he is suffering, but he doesn’t tell him or defend him. At the end, Job repents for challenging God, and God gives him back his prosperity and children.

This is my favorite story in the Old Testament. It explores the question, “Why do the righteous suffer?” There are times in my life where I divulged in self-pity in the face of difficulties. I asked, “Why me?” “How come not that person?” “How can the person who has hurt me have good luck?” “Why did that person receive the position and not me?” “Why do I have these problems but others don’t?

The questions dig a deeper hole rather than take me out of one. I related to Job because it forced me to realize that everyone has problems. It’s not how much you complain, but how you deal.

Reading The Book of Job has helped me deal with my mental illness because I know my trials have made me who I am despite my tribulations. His story has made me stronger in my faith, compassionate for others, and insightful. I don’t like pain, but who does? Like the cliche goes, “What doesn’t kill  you, makes you stronger.”

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