Once when my husband was unemployed (mind you, he was/is a faithful employee and worked hard for years for several companies until they saw fit to lay him off), we were living in my mother's basement because of circumstances beyond our control, I was having a hard time adjusting and cried out to the Lord. We had been ripped from our cozy home and I could not envision the time when we might get beyond our present situation to a new one. God provided a little devotional book based on the scriptural book of Job. During the course of the study that summer, I learned that seasons come and seasons go and Winter is NOT forever!
Recently, due to an painful illness that required of me patient waiting in an emergency room for several hours twice, I thought again of Job.
"So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes." (Job 2:7-8).
Job's wife and his friends could see he was greatly suffering, but they offered no hope and no comfort. Like me, they couldn't see the forest for the trees. Instead they said blamed God and eventually Job for his troubles. It's easy to get caught up in the blame game, still, Job repented of his foolish small thoughts and acknowledged that God is wiser and more powerful than he was.
It occurred to me while I was impatiently waiting for the doctor to see me, that there were others in the hospital not so fortunate as I was. I would eventually get to go home that evening, but they were stuck there. I knew about that since I was there last summer in the same place! My mind reverted to gratitude after that. I was also thankful I had only been afflicted with one thing, instead a series of heartbreaks like Job.
Along that line, I found several other things I could be grateful for while I was waiting (Pollyanna's little glad game). You know, my mind is being renewed from the world's pattern of griping to the heavenly pattern of gratitude! For instance, I was thankful for the little book I brought along to help pass the time. And I finished it! I was thankful that the nurse placed an IV in my left arm on the first try and that I could get something for the pain. I'm thankful that I live in the age of medical diagnosing equipment and antibiotics.
When it was necessary for the doctors to inflict more pain, I'm so thankful my compassionate hubbin came along side to kindly hold my hand instead of mocking me.
I'm also thankful for praying friends, for I don't know what I'd do without them and while I lay there on the examination table, it occurred to me that I could pray for the other patients as well as the nurses and doctors who were there to take care of me. Now I understand more fully the saying about someone: "having the patience of Job!" *smile*