I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


If you know our story, which is pretty much a story of sorrow, closed doors, and hurting…..then you can appreciate more than anything what I’m about to say.

I feel encouraged today. I can’t say it will last….I don’t even know what the next ten minutes will bring, much less the next ten months. But I will say this….my family has gone from one form of a desert to another. And there have been many reasons to stop. When serving a church affects you emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, and even financially….you just may have every reason to give up. When you give your life over to serve a church that in return does not treat you so well…..you are probably even justified in quitting. I have talked so much about the story of Job. I can identify with it. (NO….my story is not the same as his…none of our stories in this life line up, but there are definitely similarities and we can learn from one another both then, and now.) I’ve learned through the story of Jesus and Job that very unjust things will happen in this life. I’ve learned that those who say they love Him will often be the very ones that hurt one another the deepest. I’ve learned that the crying I’ve done almost every night for the past three years has not been done alone. I’ve been comforted in this deep sorrow, though NOTHING around our lives has changed…..I’ve been comforted by Him, my husband, my son, my sister, and many close friends who know very well who they are.

I’ve also been reminded that God believed in Job. That’s one of the biggest themes of that story. God, Himself, had a big part in the heartbreak…”Have you considered my servant Job?...........Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” (Job 1 verses 8 and 12) Throughout the story, we see his friends come in for seven days (which is relatively a long time) BUT…..when they can’t find an answer for Job’s suffering, they immediately start to pin the blame on Job, himself. Trust me, this still happens today. I’m sure many of you have been there. However, through it all, Job cries out….he remains faithful. He remains faithful in JUST THAT: by crying out to God…relentlessly. He remains faithful by simply STILL going to God. He remains faithful by hurting to the fullest. Oftentimes we think if we can just ignore the pain, remain busy, hide the hurt….then we will win out.

That was not the case for Job.

To deny the heartache, sorrow, grief, loneliness, depression, and despair that God, Himself, had a hand in- would undermine the VERY thing God was trying to do. I think one of those things trying to be conveyed in this story is to let everyone, including Job, know that GOD BELIEVED IN JOB. Despite the pure hell Job endured, he felt the pain, the sorrow, for all it was worth…..by doing that very thing—HURTING—he was being faithful. I think another point to this story is that we can NEVER undermine the plot around us. A friend told me recently that she wishes I could find a way to be happy, because it hurts her to see me so sad…and maybe if I could find a way to do that, it would change things around me. She said this out of love, for she knows the hurts my family has endured. I shared with her that I can’t just “grin and bear it”. If I were to ever do that, I believe it would be being unfaithful to WHATEVER IN THE WORLD it is that God is doing in our lives.

I say all that to say this:

I feel encouraged today. Not because anything has changed. Not because all my prayers have been answered. But simply because I am reminded of Job. God believed in him, that he would do the right thing. He did. Throughout the whole story, he hurt, wailed, cried out, begged for God to do something….and he endured through the pain. He never ignored it. He never denied it. Yet he still cried out to God…which I believe with all my heart is another way to worship Him. (Psalms teaches us that.) I have done that very thing. I will still do that very thing. I could give you every reason why I have to give up, and trust me….you may even tell me I’m a fool for pressing on. Some days I have ALMOST told myself that very thing.

But amidst the turmoil, the unwarranted pain, the sorrow, the loss….

God believed in Job.

He believes in my husband and myself.

And guess what?


We are to believe in Him, true.

But let’s never forget He ALSO believes in us…..as individuals, and as His children.

For me, for today, that has made a big difference.

“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” Job 2:10

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” Psalm 126:5
**I often quote this verse…it brings me more comfort than I can explain.**


Rebecca said...

I wish I could give you a big huge hug. I love you and hope that things turn around for you all. That you start feeling encouraged more often. That your days are filled with HOPE!!

Hephzibah said...

I needed that. That hits close to home as u prolly well know. Thanks for reminding us all that it's ok to mourn, cry, & to acknowledge the pain. I love u.