Job and Brussel Sprouts

“I am,” said Anne of Green Gables, in a moment of adolescent woe, “in the depths of despair.”

One of the interesting things about being human is this: the necessity of everyone being served something off of every dish on the table of life. It is true that some end up, for instance, with more brussel sprouts of difficulty. Others manage to get a big helping of chocolate delight. But everybody gets some portion of brussel sprouts – which is not actually a food – and at least a dollop of chocolate.

And no one’s arguing that there seems to an unequal distribution of deliciousness and nastiness. This comes up later. In spades.

So, in Chapter 3, Job sits in ashes in the depths of despair, with his friends sitting silently by. When he finally speaks, the first thing out of his mouth are curses.

I curse the day I was born! I curse the moment they said, “You have a baby boy!” (Note: at that time, as in many cultures of the world today, boys were preferred to girls. Don’t get me started.) I curse again the day I was born! I want to go wherever it is the dead go! God has completely surrounded me with terror!

You get the idea. On and on and on. (He does not, however, curse God, disappointing, perhaps, both Satan and his wife.)

Since we know how the story ends, we might be tempted to look at him and think, “Dude, trust God. Have faith.” But Job was, as one writer puts it, suffering from the “irrationality of despair.” He is consumed with it, and we dare not dismiss the bitterness of his condition.

And none of us will escape those days, sometimes many, many days, when it is brussel sprouts – morning, noon, and night. Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, suggests we ask one question in those tough times: What does this experience make possible? The depths of despair may be deliciousness in disguise. Time to make a career change. Time to help start that ministry in my church. Time to pray. More. Time to ________.  You fill it in.

Then hold your plate out and expect some chocolate.

What does what your experiencing make possible?


5 responses to this post.

  1. Enjoyed this one as all the others Deb, as said on FB, holding out my plate, would like a dollop please! 🙂


  2. Time to serve in the ministry God has called me to. Time to SOAR for HIM!


  3. O those crazy brussel sprouts, nasty but necessary. And for now I’ll have some chocolate please! Great job sister Deb, love it!


  4. More please<3
    Light in the brussel sprouts, heavy on the chocolate please.
    Time for me to learn the new ministry God is calling be to. Time to spread my wings and SOAR for HIM!

    Wonderful job Debra


  5. […] of the book. I know this is the part where Job has broken his 7 day silence, and said some harsh things. Now, his friend, Eliphaz, speaks up and I’m already irritated. He delivers his message with […]


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