Job is in the midst of an inner battle, overwhelmed by suffering and discouragement. He wonders whether there is any point in continuing to live in such a condition as the one in which he finds himself. He is going through personal disintegration, to the point that a primal tear grows stronger and stronger within him: “Let the day perish in which I was born” (Job 3:3), he mournfully wishes. He asks with evident bitterness, “Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” (3:11).
Job questions the very fact of his existence, screaming at God a question that is ultimately rhetorical, one that often recurs in those who suffer. In addition, over the course of the book’s 42 chapters, he becomes angry with God, disputes with God, attacks God. But at other times he keeps silent, listens, allows himself to be touched by God’s word, allows the Lord to correct him. In short, he goes through a personal journey that leads him to the point of transforming the trusting relationship with God that he had lost. In that journey he does not try to avoid the difficulties that come when shrouded in the fog of sorrow.
In the Book of Job we find one man’s experience attesting to how suffering is not inevitably doomed to turn into a pathway that, as it collapses, makes the journey to God impossible.