Responding to the Pain of Loss

Ever think about the questions raised in the book of Job? Ever wonder what the central theme of Job is?
I recently left this comment on a friends blog:
For me, the major theme of Job is grief and the grieving process. He and his wife have lost their children and all they have. Job is grieving those losses and then loses his health. Job is stunned and in shock when he speaks about God giving and taking away and accepting good and evil from God.. he is in that state of denial. As he begins to come out of denial he comes head on with his loss and wishes he was dead.

I have been there.. when my wife died I gave her eulogy and had amazing strength in that first month or so.. but then denial wore off and reality set in.. I was sad like I had never been sad before.. my heart, and my life, was broken in unimaginable ways.. and I began struggle through my grief.

For me Job is written in part to show us how grieving people can respond to great loss and how friends can be so discouraging. All during the book my heart breaks for the way that Job is hurting and people are laughing at him and unjustly casting accusing comments at him.
I think that Job is one of the most hope filled books in the bible because it:
  • speaks to the issue of pain and grief that results from loss;
  • gives me a peek into how a really spiritual man wrestled with loss and pain;
  • displays the sovereignty of God in the midst of great pain;
  • challenges me to trust God even when I am in great pain;
  • shows me that God is faithful to cause good to come out of a bad situation;
  • helps me to see that the latter part of my life will be better than the past.. even if that latter part is simply a place called heaven.
I love it how the bible does not sugarcoat life but rather how it reveals to us that life can sometimes be a painful journey. Also love how the scriptures teach us that God walks with us through the painful parts of life - and He is always there comforting us and inspiring hope in us. The scriptures teach us that our life on earth is temporary and, with regard to the joys of eternity, sorrow and pain lasts but a night - joy comes in the morning.