When I saw this passage was from Job, I was all ready to write about lament. I love lamenting. But surprisingly, Job is not lamenting in this passage! No, Job is moving on with life! He had lost everything, but his fortunes have been restored, and he is rejoicing with his community, rebuilding his life and his family.
Well, I had never actually read the end of Job before and I took issue with this ending. Job is “blameless” and “upright” (Job 1:1), he never actually did anything to deserve his misfortunes and here he is repenting because he has tried to make sense out of his life.
However, upon further reflection, I realized the lack of poetic justice is perhaps the point. Job is repenting because, rather than trusting in God, he was trying to find a clear reason why life had been unfair. It is something we all do. “Why does God let good things happen to bad people?” It is a valid question, but it is also one that we can’t answer.
So, Job chooses life instead of perpetual anger. He lives full days, and he has many blessings because he chooses to go on even after terrible suffering. It is the harder choice.
Eternal God, bless us with the strength and wisdom to choose life in the midst of our trials and our pain. Amen. — RL