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Job is to all of us ¿ a man for all seasons of the human heart. He experienced our moods. Job felt; we feel. Job raged; we have raged. Job was down; we have been down. Job is our man. Job had a great family ¿ you¿ve had a great family; the children born to you filled you with dreams. You had great plans for them. Great love for them. Job lost his family ¿ you have lost your family to one degree or another (best case scenario, your son/daughter got married and now belongs to another). Job was rich but became poor ¿ you¿ve been rich in earlier days, but have lost much. Job battled ¿friends¿ Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar ¿ you have battled friends. Job thought he had the world on a string sometimes we have felt that way. Prior to his suffering, life had been easy for Job to understand. Suddenly he was plunged into mystery. Our lives, previously sunny, have cascaded down into mysterious fog. Job battled guilt ¿ we have battled guilt. Job had the feeling that God was disappointed in him ¿ we face that one, too. Job is our man for all seasons, all situations. Name it, and Job has experienced it. Job tells the truth. It is almost impossible to pervert Job into pious pabulum. He is unreducible. He refuses to be sanitized. Job is uncut, unedited, uncensored. Raw Job.* I call my friend Job spiritual sushi. Job takes us to the top and bottom of our emotional register. Like Job, the person of faith knows what it is to be torn apart by the enormity of God. Some readers can¿t identify with Job life has been fairly easy and they have done well. Yet for the person who struggles and agonizes, the very darkness in the Bible is Its gold. The presence in Scripture of a book so difficult, chaotic and tumultuous is a comfort to the suffering, since it brings reassurance that misery¿s case is being presented. This book says to the believer, ¿Don¿t be surprised if you find yourself confused, doubting, afflicted and crushed. That does not mean God is against you. More is happening than you know.¿
Keith Kaynor earned a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. As a servant of Jesus Christ, he is the author of four books, MemberCare pastor for both ACTION International Ministries (Seattle, Washington) and Cornerstone Baptist Church (Roseville, Michigan), husband of Marilyn, father of David and Daniel, and grandfather of eight.