As we look at factors which transform, or help transform tragedy, into a positive, healing experience, almost at once time comes to mind. “Time heals all wounds,” we’ve all heard people say. We may have said it ourselves. There is some truth in that. When I look back on the death my sister, at 38, for example, I now feel nowhere near the intensity of anguish I felt at the time.
Job in chapter 42 is different from Job in chapter three. As time moves on, Job’s tragedies transform into health, healing, and a new lease on life. That takes time. One former client of my counseling ministry, a Hasidic Jewish man, insisted he suffered much longer that Job.
“Nine months,” he answered, when I asked how long Job suffered, but offered no supporting evidence. I don’t know how long it takes Job to move from chapter three to chapter 42, but much time passes. Like a lot of new clients in crisis, it takes a lot longer than they expect. Job, like many of my clients, expects a quick fix. Life’s not like that. Usually God doesn’t work that way, either.
There are situations, however, where by itself time doesn’t heal. In an emotional sense, for example, trauma can freeze us in time. Until someone comes to free us with support, insight, and grace, we’re stuck.
Let’s continue to examine other factors involved in the transformation of tragedy, Job’s and ours.