As we go into the summer season, I think it applies. As I see more families out and about doing warm weather things, I need to remember this...
Mrs. Job (Job 2:9)What happened to Mrs. Job? She was a woman, just like me, with a life -- children, possessions, friends, a husband, strengths and weaknesses. One sentence is the only picture of her we have. What if my worst moment of weakness were the only thing recorded of me for all of posterity? What if my worst moment of weakness were on display for all to see?
Who are the Mrs. Jobs in my life? The mom in the grocery store whose children are "out of control" due to some genetic or congenital problem? The woman whose mother-in-law hasn't said a kind word to her in 15 years, but she now finds herself as the primary caregiver for her? The single mom trying to buy gifts for her three children, while their deadbeat dad parties with his newest trophy? But as I encounter these women, I do not know their back-story. I only see their Mrs. Job moments -- the uncontrolled children who seem to lack discipline while their mother pretends not to notice, the stressed out woman who snaps at the older lady with her when she has finally heard one cutting remark too many, the woman whose credit cards are repeatedly denied at the checkout line and proceeds to cry. I do not know these women, but they are living a Mrs. Job life before me. Do I extend grace, do I offer a genuine smile and kind words, or do I avoid eye contact and whisper? Do I loudly tell my children that THOSE kids are the ones we are trying to avoid them being like, and that is why we are so strict with them?
What about my Mrs. Job moments? What about the times when it seems like NOTHING has gone right for so long that I am just DONE? What about when my expectations are reversed, and God gives me a resounding "NO," even as I plead with Him to restore some small portion of "normalcy" to my life? How will I respond? Will I cling to the fact that God is good, and that He loves me? Or in a moment of shameful weakness, will I say something that I can never take back, maybe permanently marring a formerly positive relationship?
So, I urge us to take some time to think before we react. All of us are in need of grace. This time of year especially, slow down and be gracious. Give strangers the benefit of the doubt. Give your family and friends the benefit of the doubt. Before you say something that leads to your Mrs. Job moment, think carefully about what you know is true, and Who you know is Truth.