I read Job 21 today.
Job complains about how the wicked live the 'good life.' Given his present state of bitterness, he is obviously generalizing...but maybe he's on to something. The wicked live, are blessed, die. Done. Short and sweet. The righteous, on the other hand, have Troubles. Why?
I wonder if the answer has been staring me in the face for the last few years. Perhaps it's truly because "God disciplines his sons." (Proverbs 3:11-12) The righteous person has a desire to know God--to be just and compassionate, to do "right." (see Jeremiah 22:15b-16) God honours this desire and teaches this person with a measure of Discipline. It's painful at the time but worth it in the long run (Hebrews 12:11). I don't know about you, but I learn best from my mistakes and painful experiences, not from taking notes in a class. The righteous person sees the big picture: his impact on earth as well as the endless sea of eternity to come.
Job went through huge pain and somehow came through it--not blameless, but having met God. I went through a small trial of my own with my health (see my early blog posts for more). I wonder how much wisdom I have retained through my ordeal. I am glad for the experience of being broken, as much as I hated it. I trust that is a 'righteous' response.