Once, there was a blameless man, richly blessed by God. All that changed one day, when disaster struck, giving rise to an experience he recorded in a journal…
Day 1: Decided to start a journal as I had some devastating news and it may help me process what is going on. Today my world turned upside down. Wealth gone. Children dead. I am utterly confused. Yet, if God gave them to me, doesn’t he then have the right to take them back?
Day 2: They say nobody should have to bury their children, but today I have buried them all. I cannot put my grief into words. I have also just come out in a rash, no doubt due to the grief.
Day 3: The rash has turned septic overnight. I’ve not suffered from anything quite like it before. The only relief I get is when I scrape the puss out. My wife insists I do it outside. Fair point, I suppose.
Day 4: Pain is unremitting. Today my wife said I should curse God, die and be done with it. I told her she was being foolish: If I take good from God, shouldn’t I also take sorrow? She was not impressed.
Day 5: My friends came to see me today: Some comfort they were! They are convinced this is all my doing and I must have sinned – all I need do is confess! Confess what? How do you confess to what you do not know?
Day 6: Friends are unrelenting. They think very little of me now, so convinced are they of my guilt. I am finding this harder than I expected.
Day 7: I am no longer held in honour, but utterly disdained. What has my life all been for, to end like this, slowly seeping away? Surely God can see that I have acted justly? What more can he want?
Day 8: Today I encountered God. I am still stunned.
Day 9: God showed me something of himself yesterday. It was as though he lifted but the tiniest corner of a veil and I could see such vastness. I thought I could reason with God, yet now, I feel so small and foolish. I am silenced.
Day 10: God showed me a bit more of himself again, and I have been left trembling. This time it was fighting talk from a storm. He answered my challenge with challenges of his own, and my knees gave way. I repented of the words I spoke and of my foolishness.
Day 11: God’s revelation of himself is still working on me. It is as though I had previously known him only by rumour, but now I have seen him with my own eyes and I am utterly undone.
Day 12: The pain from my boils has intensified and the wounds now weep openly. The doctors fear that I don’t have long. If that is so, then I want to die declaring God is worthy. I have no regrets for following him, even now. He has not explained my suffering to me, but his ways are beyond mine and I am silenced. I know him to be good, far more than I ever knew before, that is enough.
Day 13: (No entry.)
Day 14: Today I was able to get up and my wounds appear to be clearing. My friends were not expecting such a recovery and have been caught off-guard. Now that I no longer need it, they are offering me much support. Such is life!