Monday, November 30, 2009

The patience of Job

One of my favorite books in the Old Testament is Job. It's a long one, but I read it at a time in my life when I felt nothing was going right.
  • My business was drying up.
  • The man I married (before I met my wonderful husband that I'm not married to) turned out to be an alcoholic and a thief, who couldn't hold a job and I was working to support him and my son.
  • The IRS was adding penalties to back taxes I couldn't pay.
  • Debt was piling up, and I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • My car transmission blew, and I had to borrow money to get it fixed.
  • My son was acting like a typical 13 year old, and I was at wit's end.

So, I read Job.  What I got from studying that book is complex. In short, I learned to have faith in God. I learned to not blame God for my troubles.   For those of you who have read/studied the book of Job, you know what I mean when I say that I also learned not to listen to my friends-- those who don't understand our faith or values. Job's friends kept saying "curse God and die".  I believe that God answers prays His way. Not my way.  So, when B's roommate split (for rehab) just like that-- I think that's God's work all the way! I have come to realize, that the more I read God's Holy World, the more I  realize that if I continued to praise God in all things, he would restore my life and bless it more.

He has! God has blessed me.  I'm married to a wonderful man. Amen. I am debt-free, not because my husband paid my debts. He didn't. I worked two jobs, sacrificed and learned a simple theory-- be thankful for  what I have. Give money for God's work-- yes, I tithe. I tithe in faith and to give back what I've been give. I learned to want less things, and to live on what I could afford-- that is, I went with cash. Credit cards are paid in full each month. No payments allowed.

It took eleven years to reach this point.

My son's life is not in a good place, but I can see the potential blessings.

He hasn't had a car in five months. Why? I wouldn't pay for the repairs nor the insurance.

The blessing-- it's not as easy for him to drive around to buy or even think about dealing drugs.

My son has a boss who has broken more labor laws than you can imagine.

The blessing-- B is learning to humble himself. He gets to work early, and stays later to make sure his work is finished. He's learning that there will always be a co-worker or boss who can make your life miserable. Still, he goes to work and is learning to shut up and do his work. This is character building.

B can't afford to buy "things".

The blessing-- he's admitted that he's no longer into status clothes. He's happy to receive a shirt that was on clearance at a non shi-shi store.  He needs to learn how to buy the things he needs. The rest will come.

It is also a blessing, how close my son and I have grown, since he had to move out of our home.  I see my son appreciating the wisdom that I've learned over the years...decades. As I've shared before-- I'm learning to listen and to keep my lecturing to a minimum. I try to be encouraging to my son.

Next-- my son speaks from the heart about his fear of withdrawals.

Another day, I will share that.

I'm trying to limit my length of my posts to not be so lengthy.

My name is Debby. My son is a heroin addict, I struggle with codependency and I'm a believer in Jesus Christ. I need to remind myself of that.

Amen.

5 comments:

Madison said...

Love it. Lots of amazing, life-altering lessons learned in pain.

Kate from California said...

This is interesting to me, because the Book of Job horrified me so much I stopped believing. I could not accept a God who would allow all those horrible things to happen to Job just to prove a point to Satan. To this day I cannot get past that. It was a cruel thing to do and I don't understand it.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Yes, Kate, I understand. The Old Testament is a touch book to understand, and I usually don't recommend that as a starting place for those who want to study the Word.
I read Job before, but this time, I got it. It sounds cruel, but what I've come to understand is that God knew that Job was a faithful servant. He let Satan mess with Job, knowing that Job would ultimately remain faithful. In the end, God restores Job's life tenfold. Job never gave up.
That's how the saying "The patience of Job" came to be. When reading God's word, people sometimes "humanize" God-- therefore thinking he's cruel and selfish. We forget how cruel and selfish we are, but to those of us who follow God...we know that he's a loving and forgiving God. That's why the New Testament is easier to digest. Yep, the Old Testament can be a tough one to get through.

Annette said...

Lots of good lessons there. I always think through all of this we (my family) have become "real" people...vs. surfacy, holier than thou, yukky people. :o) Thanks for sharing Debby. Sounds like everything is moving along just as it should be.

Cheri said...

Debby, I too have learned much from the book of Job. Sometimes it's not just our friends who don't understand our faith that we must not listen to, but it's those friends who are believers also, but who are still depending on their own strength to see them through, depending on works to impress God and others. Sadly, I was a person like that, until our family went through the valley of addiction. That was when I surrendered it all to God, and I have been so blessed since that time. It was that freedom in trusting God and not accepting the "criticisms" I got from some of my Christian friends that gave birth to Glass House Ministries.

It's amazing how God can bring wholeness out of brokenness, and usually in no other way. In fact, I think Annette made a similar comment on my last post.

Your thoughts on Job remind me of another of my favorite scriptures: Joel 2:25. So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

I have seen God do that in my life and in my family's lives. It is an amazing thing to experience. We cannot possibly understand God, because we are human, but all His intents towards are good.

Thanks for posting this,
Cheri