The weird thing about life returning to normal after it knocked you down is facing a comeback.
It’s been a month since I worked on my manuscript or blogged, and two weeks since I communicated on social media. When I thought about reentering the online world, I felt anxious and unsure. I tried to imagine what that would look like, especially on my Facebook author page. Do I post without an explanation, as if I’ve been gone for a day only? Will anyone notice? Is anyone even curious?
Have you ever felt this way after taking a leave of absence from your job, a book club, sports team, or a church group? It’s easy to lose touch with people. You feel like a stranger. Soon, you’re nervous about jumping back in.
So many thoughts, emotions, and imaginings go into a comeback.
Finding my way through these emotions.
Two trips to the ER, ongoing dizzy spells, more time in bed than out, on antibiotics twice, a limited diet of bland foods, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Job.
You know, the man in the book of Job with painful sores covering his body, who lost his adult children and his large flock. The man left with a wife who wanted him to curse God and friends who assumed his hardship was the consequences of sin.
All this hardship and criticism would make anyone question his or her behavior. But not Job. He knew he had not sinned against God.
I wasn’t the only one suffering.
While I lay in bed more weeks than I wanted, I prayed for a son grieving the loss of a sweetheart because of colon cancer. An acquaintance and USA Today Bestselling author hospitalized with Covid-19. A colleague unable to type because of a shoulder injury. A friend diagnosed with DVT. And another friend on dialysis.
Plugging into God’s power source on behalf of others wasn’t new to me. However, my prayers were more compassionate, and if I’m honest, they were more frequent. Who knew? Suffering yields deeper empathy for others. Less busyness provides added time to focus on those we love.
What happens when we pray for others?
Job prayed for his accusers. He even forgave them. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Job (and his wife) suffered more than any person should, yet he knew God was the answer to all his problems. And because he remained faithful, God healed him.
Then He blessed Job with favor.
“Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.” —Job 42:11 (KJV)
We may not receive money or gold.
But Job’s comeback reassures us God will provide comfort.
We may not experience harsh judgements like Job.
But his locality toward God encourages us to stand firm.
Our circumstances may not be as tragic as Job’s.
But we can have a victorious comeback in any situation.
What steps will you take or have taken to master a comeback?
Did you know that God doubled what Job had lost? He lived to have seven sons and three daughters, 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. Job lived 140 years and saw four generations.
Your blog reminded me that we all go through seasons in life. The story of Job is a comfort in times of trial, as his problems were not the result of his sin, but of the spiritual battles going on in the heavenly realm. All the instances you mentioned of the suffering of friends including your own trials can be viewed in that light. May the Lord of Heaven’s Armies protect and keep us through these difficult times. Knowing that the battle has already been won we have to hold our faith as we come back to receive all that God has planned for us.
Deryn, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. You’ve summed up the story of Job well and what we can learn from him. Thank you.
Dianne, I needed this post. Thank you for writing it. I have been silent for too long on my blog. I need a come back, and you have given light to me in this situation. Thank you for your bravery.