When Life is ‘Drudgery’
Job spoke, saying: Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?
The funny thing is, as soon as that reading is concluded at Mass, the entire congregation will respond, “Thanks be to God!” Really? Is this reading worth thanking God for? Do we really want to thank God for an expression of such pain? We most certainly do!
Job was clearly expressing feelings that we all face at times. He speaks of a sleepless night. Feelings of a loss of hope. Months of misery. Et cetera. Hopefully these feelings are not an everyday occurrence. But they are real, and everyone experiences them at times.
The key to understanding this passage is to look at Job’s whole life. Even though he felt this way, it did not direct his decisions. He did not give in to ultimate despair; he did not give up; he persevered. And it paid off! He stayed faithful to God through his tragedy of losing everything precious to him and never lost faith and hope in his God. In his darkest hour, even his friends came to him telling him he was being punished by God and that all was lost for him. But he wouldn’t listen.
Remember Job’s powerful words, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord!” Job praised God for the good things he received in life, but when they were taken away, he continued to bless and praise God. This is the most central lesson and inspiration of Job’s life. He did not give in to the way he felt in the reading above. He did not let the despair he was tempted with deter him from praising and worshiping God. He praised Him in ALL things!
The tragedy of Job took place for a reason. It was to teach us this essential lesson of dealing with the heavy burdens life can throw at us. Interestingly, for those who carry heavy burdens, Job is a real inspiration. Why? Because they can relate to him. They can relate to his pain and learn from his perseverance in hope.
Reflect, today, upon Job. Let his life inspire you. If you are finding a particular burden in life weighing you down, then try to praise and worship God anyway. Give God the glory due His name simply because it is due His name and not because you do or do not feel like doing it. In this, you will find that your heavy burden leads to your strengthening. You will become more faithful by being faithful when it’s very difficult to do so. Job did it and so can you!
Lord, when life is hard and the burden is great, help me to deepen my faith in You and my love for You. Help me to love and worship You because it is good and right to do in all things. I love You my Lord, and I choose to praise You always! AMEN