When I was in high school I had a friend who whenever I talked about the things that were happening at home would refer to me as “Jobette”. I can’t tell you what his intention behind it was because I don’t know. I knew the meaning behind what he was saying, “You’re being dramatic about this issue, get over it and be quiet.”. This happened at the beginning of my Christian walk and I can’t say I blame him for the issues that I later on had to come to grips with, but his joke certainly did not help.
As I remembered what he would say to me I realized that I adopted a “You’re being dramatic about this issue, get over it and be quiet” attitude when it came to my relationship with God. I still struggle with it. Every single day I have to remind myself that God cares.
He cares when I am angry, when I am sad, when I am feeling alone, vulnerable and just emotional for no good reason. He cares. Ironically enough, at this juncture in my life I’d happily take on the “Jobette” badge. Because there is so much we can learn from Job. Job was mad at God, he never cursed God, but he got mad and frustrated. God responded to Job’s emotions and situation.
One of my favorite chapters in the book of Job is when he is responding to his friends in chapter 13.
“My eyes have seen all this,
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty
and to argue my case with God.
Don’t you sometimes want to say this to people who want to bring rhyme and reason to your pain and your frustration. Job is essentially saying “my mind understands what you’re saying but the pain of this situation only God can understand and you need to let me feel this”. There are situations in life which require a conversation with God, and God alone. As we grow in our walk with God we must learn to tell the difference. Argue your case with God.
As I’ve shared before, I am a sexual abuse survivor. One of the issues I encountered when I went to therapy was the inability to be angry with my parents. I remember telling my therapists “they’re the best parents, I love them so much”. She would kindly but sternly remind me that they failed me when I was getting abused, they failed me when they didn’t see the signs, and they failed me when they didn’t validate me when I disclosed to them. I had to allow myself to be angry with them and at them. I learned that being angry didn’t negate or void my love for them, but it allowed me to see that people had wronged and failed me and I could not let them off the hook, regardless of who they were.
Throughout the book of Job we see Job wrestle with these emotions of anger with God. He questions God. Although God never failed Job, God did allow Job to go through pain and suffering. Our perspective changes when we understand that it is okay to tell God we’re angry, sad or frustrated. God responded to Job and He’ll respond to you too. Job’s breakthrough isn’t in his anger but in the bringing it to God. So often we want to shield God from our most raw and true emotions as if He couldn’t see them. How is He supposed to sustain us if we don’t bring it to Him.
Would a plumber magically show up to fix your plumbing if you didn’t call and ask him too? No. This concept is easily transposed to our relationship with God. God is in constant pursuit of us which means He longs to be in constant relationship with us. Relationships both earthly and heavenly require honest communication. Is your communication with God honest? Or are you giving Him your Sunday best?
Later on in the chapter, Job tells us the secret to living out our walk honestly before God:
“Keep silent and let me speak;
then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy
and take my life in my hands?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
for no godless person would dare come before him!
The confidence expressed in his words are rooted in one thing, the knowledge that God loves him. Period. Punto. Finito. The Grace Torres Firpi version of this passage goes something like this:
“Jesus, I am angry. I don’t have what I want in this very moment. I don’t like this particular season and I am tired. But I can’t do anything else but bring it to you. So here it is. All of it. My pain, my sin, my loneliness, my failures it’s all yours. Do with it what you may. But here I am because I know you love me. This I know to be true. My heart and my emotions might not feel it right now, but I know what your truth is. You love me.”
There will come a moment when your emotions collide with the truth. It is in that moment that you will see with clarity the paradox of grace. That His love extends to every part of you because he created you. Period. Punto. Finito.
So the joke is on that friend who called me “Jobette”. I’ll be Jobette – because I’ve learned that I am not dramatic, I am human. I am not over it until God says so and will definitely not be quiet.
On this occasion…stay dramatic and stay loud.
Grace Torres- Firpi