Jan 11 (Daily reading: Job 29-31) Today’s reading was very personal for me. I could entitle this “A lament of aging.” Job lamented, “I long for the years gone by … When I was in my prime” (29:2,4, New Living Translation). This lament and desire came from Job’s reality: “But now I am mocked by people younger than I” (30:1). Job’s physical suffering was compounded emotionally because of the mockery. I know of no one younger than me who is mocking me. I would suffer emotionally only if I allowed myself to envy or resent the youthfulness of others. That would make me look only backwards, to seek my self-esteem in days gone by. It could perhaps lead me to say with Job: “And now my soul is poured out within me,” or as the NIV puts it, “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me” (30:16).
Chris sent me an amusing anecdote. John Wesley at age 83 was angry with his doctor because he would not let Wesley preach more than fourteen times per week! I understand that; the older you get, the more you have to share. By God’s grace, I am not resentful or envious of the youth of others. I am not discouraged by my fulltime role as Judy’s caregiver which has become my primary ministry. Job cried out, “Oh, that I had someone to hear me!” (31:35). I too have made that cry, and God has answered, even as He told Moses: “I have heard the cries of My people” (Ex. 3:7). I rejoice in the memories of my youth, of my days of ministry with Judy by my side. But I also rejoice in the present and embrace it because it has come from God—it is His gift to me!