Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Job 34

We assume Job is perfect because he says he is and also because he is seen as “God’s test subject.” I mean, why would God choose someone flawed in a battle against Satan? But Elihu’s words make me see something new and different today. They make me consider that maybe Job wasn’t perfect after all, or at least not perfect the way we might define perfect to be. Maybe he was indeed full of flaws, just like the rest of us, and God knew that through Job’s flaws and hardships, He could deliver a message of perfection to us. Why do I doubt Job’s “flawlessness” today? For one, Elihu’s words yesterday made me consider how others may see Job, and his words today added some cement to my theory. Job really didn’t impress everyone as a perfect, stand-up guy, and Elihu says so in verses 7-9: “Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job, with his thirst for irreverent talk? He chooses evil people as companions. He spends his time with wicked men. He has even said, ‘Why waste time trying to please God?’” In other words, Job can say and act however he feels is right and believe all he wants about himself being innocent, but others around him will never, ever see him that way. Ever. And maybe there’s a good reason for that, and that reason, for me, is that absolutely no one on Earth is or has ever been flawless, not even Job. And we have to know that to know Jesus. We have to know that to know that God has a reason for letting bad things happen to “good” people. We have to know that “good” to us and “good” to God have never and will never be the same. We have to know that “perfection” is not a state of never messing up but instead a consistent cycle of falling and getting right back up again to do better.

And that last thought leads me to something I have been pondering for a few days now, and reading Job is the reason for it. Sort of. Actually Facebook, or Meta, or whatever they’re calling it these days, is the reason for it. It doesn’t exactly flow with my thoughts above, but it’s because of those thoughts that I started thinking these thoughts:

You see, several years ago, my cousin had a kidney transplant, and through that occurrence, I was added to a kidney transplant support group on Facebook. Now, while my cousin never, ever posts anything on the thing, I just can’t bring myself to leave it because I find myself praying for those who post about their transplants and dialysis and all kinds of stuff. BUT at the same time, sometimes I dread scrolling through Facebook BECAUSE I know I’m going to have to pray a lot. Does that make sense? I’m sure it sounds incredibly selfish, and it is, but it’s life, and God knows my heart. That’s probably why I still scroll through Facebook and remain in that group – because God knows I need to, even though it’s challenging for me. Anyway, as I was praying and moaning the other day about how much time it takes to pray (which seriously is like 20-30 seconds, easy, done.) for each thing that pops up on my Facebook feed, it occurred to me, “What if these things didn’t exist?” Or, worse yet, “What if I just ignored them?” And that’s when it also occurred to me that maybe sometimes bad things happen to “good” people so that those around them will sit up and take notice. Maybe their bad situations are opportunities for us to do good. And what if we never, ever had those opportunities? What if no one ever responded to those opportunities? Then what would the world be like? And I know, I know, you can say, well, if nothing bad ever happened, then we wouldn’t need opportunities to be good. And maybe that’s what Heaven is like. And maybe that’s the whole point.

Writing prompt: opportunities

Write about a time you were given the opportunity to console someone who was experiencing a difficult time.

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