I can be a bit of a moody person on occasion. But, I’ve never been so all over the map with my feelings as I have been since our son, Israel, died. They say there are 5 stages of grief you go through after losing a loved one. I think they should change the description from “stages” to “momentary feelings”. Because, I have experienced all five stages of grief in a ten minute time period many, many times since we lost him. It’s like being on an elevator gone terribly, terribly wrong. “Going up; going down; going up, up, up; GOING DOWN; getting off; no, staying on and going up; going down, down, down; crash into the basement floor; get off; get on; going up.” You get the idea. You don’t proceed through the stages of grief like you walk up a flight of stairs: methodically, step by step with a destination or goal in sight. First of all, there is no destination or goal. The goal I’d like to achieve cannot be achieved, not by me, anyway. I’d like to have my son, my children’s brother, back with us. I cannot achieve that goal. Secondly, there is no “method” to going through this, it is the most haphazard thing I’ve ever experienced. I remember feeling, in the days after his passing, denial one moment, then anger so intense I didn’t know I could be that angry the next. Then, complete despair, bordering on feeling suicidal, I’m sure. I just thought if the ground could open up and swallow me whole, I’d be where I needed to be. Then there was the constant thought that if I’d reacted “correctly” to the deputies news of his passing, he wouldn’t be dead. I think that might fall under the category of “bargaining”. The acceptance part is difficult to come by. I can’t accept this. I just can’t. But, I have to. But, I can’t. When does acceptance ever come when someone loses a 25 year old son? A cherished and adored 25 year old son. The middle son of three sons and two daughters. How do you accept this? How did Job not sin?
Job was my son’s favorite book of the Bible. I have to believe that it was because of Job’s tenacity toward God. His attitude that “though You slay, yet shall I praise You”. My son had that tenacity. Not always, but mostly. He always had a heart to do what was right, what was pleasing to God. I’m thankful for that.
But, back to how did Job not sin. I’ve always loved the book of Job, though it’s been a love mixed with fear and trembling. I loved the verse I thought I quoted in the above passage, but when I looked it up just now I found it to say: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.”, Job 13:15. That means more to me today than it ever has. So does the verse I’m asking a question of: Job 2:9 – “…’Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” I wonder what exactly “sin with his lips” means. The study notes in my Bible doesn’t comment on that phrase in this verse. It does say, though, regarding the first half of that verse: “a key theme of the book: Trouble and suffering are not merely punishment for sin; for God’s people they may serve as a trial (as here) or as a discipline that culminates in spiritual gain.”
Another of my favorite verses in this book is just a few verses further into this chapter. Job has three friends visit him “to sympathize with him and comfort him.” When they saw him from a distance “they raised their voices and wept” because they didn’t recognize him. “Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”
The pain is very great.