The divine comedy (tragedy that ends well) of the story of Job always struck me as unique. Very few people have lived such a life. That story was probably put in the Bible because God was warning us to be thankful, after all, we could be like Job losing everything in one hour. Or maybe it was to tell us that the most righteous would be tested with hellfire?
So, now that I thought about it, what was the point of Job? To depress us?
The longer I am involved with the ministry to former Adventists, I am deluged with stories that are unfathomable. For years I have questioned the truthfulness of some of them. Do people in pain make up fantastic stories to match their feelings? Are former Adventists and Adventists prone to delusions and lies? Perhaps they simply just want attention and create epic tragedies to gain people's sympathy. Do Adventists have some type of Job-complex?
But after forty years of hearing SDA stories and now being outside the denomination, I find that these stories are not unique to Adventists. Yes, there seems to be a concentration of bizarre life stories that are birthed through those Adventists most dedicated to their doctrines, but in general, humanity is a mess.
It seems the point of putting Job into the Bible is to let us know the universality of severe suffering. Losing all. What consumed Job as a lightning bolt in one hour often scalds us in tiny smoldering flames. Our anonymous, unthinkable tragedies languish quietly in our breasts eating away at our life.
We are all Job. He is more of us than we can imagine. That is why we should not judge. We cannot see the devastation and mute despair others survive. Job lets us know that we are not alone in our aching wilderness. Job is everyman. Job is true-man.
Life is not for the faint of heart. Life takes supernatural courage. Perhaps at the end of the day we find faith is admitting with a confused but spiritual grit, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord."