Shall we not receive evil?
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:7-10 ESV)
On many occasions I have heard people speak pejoratively about the unnamed woman in this passage. Yet, when I look at this heartbroken couple, she is the one who seems to be most in touch with the reality of what has happened to their family. Job's wife is not a woman in denial of the fact that she has lost all of her children and is now seeing her last family member suffering from, what must seem to her to be, a terminal illness. Does your heart not break for her?
On the flip-side Job seems to be stuck in a dark denial of what has happened to his children and now to him. He tries to act brave and say the right things. Soon he too will transition out of this numb phase of grief but for now he remains a captive of a theology that credits God with this evil that has come upon him. At the heart of his problems ... the thing that kept Job from grieving ... was the idea that somehow God was judging him. And what do you do with that?
Help us Lord to not hide from our pain using religious clichés. Teach us to grieve our losses.