Good morning, again. I’ve been thinking of how you feel the moment you open your eyes each day, how you think you cannot face what’s ahead. The burden of living with symptoms of schizophrenia and depression can seem crushing, too much for one soul to bear. Job, who felt crushed, too, put into words what you might feel.
Job’s ten children died together in a day marked with wild storms and marauders. Thieves and weather wiped out all of his vast wealth. Soon after, agonizing boils spread over his body and ended his days as a healthy man. His friends turned harsh. Shocked and bewildered, Job called the weight of his grief and calamity “heavier than the sand of the sea”. . . an ocean-bed of sand, slogged and soaked by tons of frigid water.
Almost everyone remembers what Job’s wife said to him, the famous line we churchgoers sneer at: “Curse God, and die.” You’ve been a man of integrity, she said, and have faithfully followed God, but you’ve got good reason to curse him now; he has taken everything away from you.
This morning, you might think everything has been taken away from you, at least everything that makes for a normal and enjoyable life. Living with schizophrenia or severe depression does not make for a spunky day. Job’s oozing boils and loss of family did not result in an all-American “we’ll just rebuild” response either. He cursed the day he was born. What marked Job, though, is that he refused to curse God. He was not too pleased with God, but he stayed faithful to him.
After sitting on an ash heap for a long while, wrestling with his inner turmoil and everything he believed about life, Job started over. Insight about tragedy came slowly for him, as it does for all sufferers, and rebuilding his life took guts. Job stumbled forward and never stopped looking to God. He recovered. He prospered.
This morning as you open your eyes, and face the frightening symptoms of your illness, rush to God. You’re clueless about what to do with your suffering, but in Job you have an example to follow: Groan if you must, because this sickness is hard to bear, but refuse to curse God. Sit on the heap of your life with him. Pour out your heart before God, your maker, and ask for mighty consolations. You are the giver of life—give life to me!
Father, I pray for my daily bread—for all that I need to survive this day with food in my belly, shelter, and integrity. Pour out your grace upon the little grasp I have on my will and help me make a small step toward healing. Deal bountifully with me and with those who help me. Fill my soul and heart with such a deep understanding of your love that I grow strong in praise of you. Amen.