So far in this series I’ve shared about the reason I began looking into this topic of Paul vs Job–-about how I could never find a devotional that went beyond the fact that we should be joyous and have faith and that we’d be healed in Heaven. I also shared about the differences between Job and Paul. I shared the lessons we can learn from Job and the lessons we can learn from Paul. I talked about how there are differences between struggling through short-term trials and ones that are long term. Next, I talked about what the Bible says about suffering and what the Bible says about joy in suffering.
At this point, I’d like to take a moment to share more about what got me started looking into Paul and Job.
People who don’t have chronic illnesses or long-term financial (or other) issues just don’t understand what that means and so they’d say things to me like:
“I understand how you feel because I’ve had a cold recently.”
“But you don’t look sick!” or “It could be worse.”
“If you only had more faith…”
“Don’t you WANT to feel better?”
“Just be more positive.”
“Job was given everything he lost and more!”
Some were well-meaning. Others were just mean. LOL Both just had no idea that they were making it worse for me. Job’s trails were not permanent. Paul’s were.
Why was there no study on how Paul was able to have the joy despite NOT being healed and living his life being persecuted and ultimately jailed?
Here’s what I longed for someone to say:
“I’m so sorry you’re hurting.”
“I’m here for you.”
“Tell me about your disease/problem.”
“How can I help?”
“If you’d rather not talk about it…”
“I admire your courage and strength.”
“You’re an inspiration/encouragement.”
I have still not found a devotional about how Paul was able to find the joy in the midst of his long-term trials, but what I have found is what helps ME see the joy in the midst of several chronic illnesses, financial instability, and surgeries.
Next week, I’ll be sharing some insights of my own about living with chronic issues. Then the following week, I’ll share what I have found by going back to read Paul’s letters.