I’m sure you’re familiar with those lists of questions to ask your spouse. It’s usually something like, “50 Questions to Ask Your Spouse During Your Next Date Night” or “10 Questions to Ask on a First Date.” I know you’ve seen them. Well, I’ve read enough of them to be able to create my own questions and, although I’m sure they sometimes drive Brandon a bit insane, he plays along like a good sport.
Well, the other night we were going ’round and ’round with random questions, “If you could have been witness (and survived) any historical event. What would it be?” and “If you could spend a day in the life of any modern celebrity or public figure, who would it be and why?” when I threw him for a little loop.
I asked him, “If you could spend a day with anyone from the Bible (excluding Jesus Himself), who would it be?”
Even as I asked my husband I had my own answers swirling in my head. Who would I want to spend an entire day with? Who would I want to really bear witness to, speak with, and be able to consult. I had so many thoughts…
Hannah – I thought about Hannah who spend so many years waiting and pleading for a baby. I wondered what she would have to say to me as we wait for our own little bundle of joy. I wondered how she would comfort me or what words she might share.
Noah – I thought about Noah and all of the ridicule he took while building the Ark and everyone thinking he was crazy. I’d ask him about living in a time that was so evil that God opted to destroy them all. I wondered what he might share about being an outsider in your own time.
Mary – I thought about Mary and the turmoil that must have been on heart after finding herself carrying the Lord’s child and how she endured every day with that responsibility. I’d ask her about…just…everything.
When out of my own haze I heard my husband whisper, very solemnly, “I’d talk to Job.”
I thought surely that my husband (the strong leader side of him) would choose David. I had assumed, before even asking him, that he would want to speak to the King that slew Goliath, ascended to King, sinned through lust and pride, yet was still favored by God. If not David, I thought surely that my husband (the wise and sensitive side of him) would choose Solomon, son of David. I had assumed he would want to speak to Solomon about his wisdom and his pride.
But no, my husband wanted to speak to Job.
“Why Job”? I asked.
“How did he do it?” was all my husband said in reply.
I sat quietly, waiting. I knew that if I didn’t stir the moment my husband was preparing to unleash a heavy flood of emotion. I could feel it in the air. You see, something I haven’t addressed much (or at all) is that my husband suffers from anxiety and extreme depression. I’m never sure, day to day, which version of my husband I’ll get when he wakes up. I never know what might push him in to anxiety or if that anxiety will be a panic attack, rage, or complete withdrawal. I never know what might trigger a spell of deep depression. It’s random and it comes on unexpectedly but in this moment, as he sat so suddenly stern and quiet, I knew something was going on behind his eyes.
“How did Job do it? I could never have done it.” my husband whispered. “How did he endure so much suffering and stay so faithful? He lost his wealth, his lands, his children, and yet he only became more aware of his own limitations and his own lack of wisdom as he suffered. I couldn’t do that. When we lost each of our two children I’ve been angry at God. I’ve made accusations and cursed Him in anger. Can you imagine losing 10 children? You’re entire family? When everyone around him was telling him to curse God, he refused. He held strong. As he lost everything, he still kept faith that God was with him. To be so strong, so committed, and so loyal. It’s impressive and I don’t understand it. With my melancholy, I’d believe I deserved it. I’d believe I was being punished. I’d think that God had abandoned me and I’d curse him. To do what Job did, how? I’d want to speak to him.”
As he spoke, I knew what was going on in his mind. He was thinking about the hardships we’ve faced over the last few years together. He was thinking about how he almost died from his illness in 2012, about the two children we’ve lost before we ever had the chance to know them, the job changes, the financial struggles, the dog injuries, the moves and he was thinking about how quickly and easily we blame God and turn away from Him in our anger or our hurt.
As I pondered, Brandon leaned over and kissed my nose whispering, “But God was always with Him and He is always with us.” and he’s right.
It’s a New Year, friends. It’s a new year full of knowing that God is with us in everything we do and that even when things aren’t perfect, He’s with you.
Let’s make the year ahead of us fabulous, wonderful, and full of love. Let’s hug a little bit tighter and hope a little bit more. Let’s hold open doors for strangers, be patient for a few minutes longer, and keep our voices just a little bit gentler.
Now to you friends, “If you could spend a day with anyone from the Bible (excluding Jesus Himself), who would it be?”