Job 42 - A sermon
Fourteen years ago, I wrote an essay titled, I don't believe in God anymore. It was a response to my grief about my mental illness, the loss of my self-image, my sense of confidence as a person who could rely on the state of my own mind.
I wasn't suicidal at the time. But I was acutely aware that chances are I would be again in the future, because I have a remitting, recurring condition. It appears, it gets better, it flairs again. And suicidal ideation is one of its symptoms, a particularly cruel symptom.
I felt betrayed. Betrayed by God.
I mean, I had given my life, my energy, my health to serving God. And all of those things had been taken away from me. Me!
Okay, I know that bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen even to saints. But, damn!
It wasn't about mental illness so much as it was about grief, grief for the loss of what I thought I knew about myself, what I thought I could count on, my brain, most of all.
And I thought I could count on God, too. So, I wrote, I don't believe in God anymore. Just don't trust the guy like I used to.
Job had a different response to his grief. He never said, I don't believe in God anymore. He continued to challenge God to be the God he thought he knew. But there are ways that the book resounds powerfully for me.