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"The Job Syndrome"

by David A. DePra

     The book of Job chronicles what happens to a man of God

whose understanding of God collapses under the weight of a great

trial. Job thought he knew God. But the light of Job's understanding

of God was swallowed up in a great darkness brought on by his trial.

     This position of believing God is faithful, but of not being able to

understand HOW He is faithful, might be called "The Job Syndrome."

"The Job Syndrome" is a spiritual condition where my lack of

understanding has plunged me into a terrible darkness. I cannot

see God. I have no consciousness of His presence. I do not know

where I am spiritually, let alone circumstantially. And nothing I do

seems to bring light to the situation or resolve the problem.

     It is one thing to be in a circumstance for which we see no

solution. But it is even more difficult when we cannot see God.

Never think you are so far along spiritually that you could never face

such a trial of faith. There is always more to God than we can see,

grasp, or understand. And when God pushes us out into that

unknown area, it will be a great darkness to us.

Thinking Our Way Out

     There are a number of ways we may try to bring light into this

darkness. First, we may try to "think" our way into seeing God.

"Surely," we may reason, "There is a rational explanation for this."

So we try to reason our way through the darkness in an attempt to

justify what is happening to us. This may seem to work for a time.

But this is a "trial of faith." And by definition, a trial of faith CANNOT

be resolved by the intellect. It isn't a trial of brains. It is a trial of


     If you walk with Jesus Christ, you are again and again going to

face darkness to your understanding. And if you try to solve a lack

of understanding by trying to understand, you will just get confused.

     Through the Holy Spirit, our minds are to be renewed according

to the Truth. This will result in an understanding, which, to a degree,

can be put into words. But in a trial of faith, we are talking about an

area where this has yet to occur. We have not yet had our mind

renewed THERE. So we can think all we want. But we will be doing

it with an UNrenewed mind -- on that issue. We will get nowhere.

     You cannot bring light to a situation by thinking. I can think all I

want. But it will still be dark. I don't have a brain problem. I have

an eye problem. I can't see God in the darkness.

Obeying Our Way Out

     Now, once I discover that I cannot see God through the darkness

by using brain power, I may resort to other methods. I may try to

bring light to the situation by DOING. Maybe I can obey myself into

the light.

     Too often we get the idea that we can "bribe" God by obeying

Him. "If I do this, then God will do this," we reason. But this is not

only nonsense, but unbelief. We should obey God because it is

right to obey Him. We should obey Him no matter how dark things

become otherwise -- not merely because we think it will bring light

to us.

     There is, of course, some Truth to the notion that obedience will

lead us into the light. Certainly. But in that case, our darkness is

the result of DISobedience. Thus, obedience is the only solution.

Or other times, obedience is simply a door we must walk through if

we want to see the Truth. But we are not talking about those kinds

of things here. We are talking, not about darkness which is the

result of DISobedience. No. We are talking about darkness which

is the result of OBEDIENCE. I have obeyed God, as far as I know,

and have nevertheless been plunged into a terrible darkness.

     I cannot obey myself out of the darkness in those cases. Neither

can I bring light to the situation. I don't have an "obedience

problem." I have an eye problem. I cannot see God.

Getting Our Eyes Adjusted

     There is a better approach. We are trying to get rid of the

darkness. Or maybe we are trying to bring light into the darkness.

But could the solution be that we simply need to have our eyes

adjusted TO the darkness?

     The fact is, the only way to see in the dark is to turn off all of the

artificial lights. Turn off artificial lights like thinking, doing, and even

emotionalism. As long as you have the artificial lights on, your eyes

cannot adjust to the dark. But turn them off, let some time pass, and

you may be astounded at what you will see.

     Of course the problem here is that you have to turn off all the

lights and make it dark BEFORE your eyes are adjusted. You have to

face a period of time when you can see nothing at all. And you will

have no idea what you are going to see once your eyes do

become adjusted.

     This is the choice of faith. We have to choose to face the

darkness. But on what authority can we take this step? The

authority of God.

     God has said that He will never leave nor forsake us. Thus,

when we cannot see God, we can believe that He sees us. When

we do not know where we are going, we can nevertheless trust the

One leading. The point is, there are going to be times when we

CANNOT see. Our eyes are not yet adjusted. But we must rest in

the Truth that God CAN see, and will be faithful to us.

How Things Look

     In the trial of faith, things look exactly like things would look if 

God didn't care. They look very much like they would look if God has

forsaken us. Did you every notice that? When I am in a trial of faith,

what I see, and what I feel, all tell me that God has abandoned me.

And I cannot answer that suggestion with any facts. For presently,

I cannot see God. It is dark.

     So I must come to the place where I no longer try to use artificial

light. I have to abandon thinking, doing, and everything else. I have

to take the step of faith and face the darkness. If I do, my eyes will

adjust. I will begin to be able to make out some images. I will begin

to see how things really are.

     It is here that I will make the most astounding discovery of all:

God was there with me all the time! Exactly as He promised. All the

time I was trying to find Him, He had already been with me. All the

time I strained and tried to grope in the dark, He was there, by my

side. All the time I was shining my artificial lights into the darkness,

trying to find God, He was already there. I just couldn't see Him. I

had to have my eyes adjusted.

     If I trust God in the darkness, things may appear, for a time, as if

God has forsaken me. But eventually, I will see that He never left

me for a moment. All the while I could not see God, God had His

eyes firmly fixed upon me, taking care over me. When it seemed

as if I were alone, God was there. I just didn't have the eyes to see


     When we are in darkness, we think we need to find answers. We

think that if we could just SEE our way, then it would be sufficient. But

we do not need to see our way. We need to see God.

     The answer to the "Job Syndrome" is not information which can

be gained through thinking, or even through some proclamation of

God. The answer is God Himself. When I see God, I see Light.

And it is only THAT Light which can adjust my eyes and enable me

to see the Truth. *

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