Shall We Accept Good and Not Trouble?

In March, after 6 months of infertility, I confided in my husband that I was already so tired. I wasn’t sure if I could endure the possible years of waiting still to come. I sought Biblical counsel.

In May, I started to feel refreshed by truth. I wrote about how God was working in the midst of my season. A written prayer from my journal holds these words: “We’re breaking new ground. Growth is coming.”

In June, my sweet pup suddenly became very sick.

In July, we made the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye. He was 21 months old. Another written prayer says, “All I see is desert. I don’t know how you’re going to bring beauty from this.”

Come August, I was unbelievably angry. Some days I still am.

I don’t have a lot of pretty things to say yet. And actually, the wisdom I do have is from my husband’s mouth, not mine.

We were sitting on our bed late one night, and I was frustrated. I was getting fired up, actually, complete with sporadic hand motions.

“Whatever God is trying to teach me, I wish I could just learn it already! I’ve been trying to learn contentment in Him for months. I’ve waited. I thought I was trusting. I thought I was growing, and then all He did was hurt me again.

What else does He want from me?

Dellan is the best listener. I’ve had a lot to say over the last few weeks, and he has given me plenty of space to process and emote. He did the same that night, but once I was done, He said:

“Learning contentment is not a curse. God is giving you a gift.”

I was immediately convicted.

And I was convicted again the next morning when God brought to mind Job during my time in the Word.

Job, the man who loses everything. His livestock is stolen, his servants are murdered, his children die tragically, and to top it all off, he develops painful sores that spread from the top of his head to the soles of his feet.

In her grief, his wife tells him that he might as well curse God and die.

Job replies,

You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?

Job 2:10 (NIV)

Job’s wife had her eyes on her circumstances. She saw all of the pain and brokenness surrounding them and thought, If this is who God is, we might as well just call it quits. What’s the use in following someone who would do this to us?

It’s easy to judge her for thinking this way. If I’m honest, though, I was in a similar headspace while Dellan and I were talking that night.

And where was Job’s focus? On the person of God. On His power and love and mercy and ability to work anything for good. He looked at His Creator and knew, If God is who He says He is, I can accept good or evil from His hand. I can trust Him.

So what does God want from me? From us?

To grin and bear it while circumstances are painful? To cross my fingers that He’ll grant my desires someday?

Not at all. I think He wants me to open my hands.

To receive His compassion in grief,

His fullness in a dry season,

and His love to cover all my hurts.

I’ll learn to be content, but it won’t be through a season of stewing and waiting. Contentment is not a curse that will weaken with time.

It’s a gift. He is a gift, and it’s only when I look at Him that I have hope.

But for me it is good to be near God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    that I may tell of all your works.

Psalm 73:28 (ESV)

Tagged with: