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About the Writer:

As a wife, mother, daughter, friend and believer, Jo explores the work of God in all her roles and situations. With a deep hunger to learn more about the ways of the Lord, Jo conveys the truths she's learned through vivid descriptions and personal stories. Her love of Jesus carries her and her writing expresses her deepest love.


Three Jobs and a Jesus

By Jo Ludwig

Subject: Suffering/Illness/hope

Synopsis: Lessons seem to come to me in “sets of three”. I need the preview, the first release and the re-run of the same lesson before it sticks. I have learned more about Jesus’ love, the gift of life and God’s sovereign presence and plans from the recent sufferings of three dear people in my life. Fred was the preview, Ricky was the new release and Ethel’s story was the re-run.

Three Jobs and a Jesus: Who is Job? Most of us see the three letters J-O-B and think immediately about the wonderful person who holds down a “j-o-b” as a means of providing food, shelter, and many other comforts for us. However, Sacred Scripture provides a completely different perspective for these three letters in one of the Old Testament prophet books. The book is called THE BOOK OF JOB (jobe) named for the prophet whose story of immense suffering, humiliation, isolation and rejection provides a landscape to view the equally immense power of healing and restoration God assures to all. I have seen Job’s story lived out for me in three dear friends I shall call Fred, Ricky and Ethel. Their lives have been my “lessons-of-three” series for the summer this year.

Fred is in his late 40’s and we have known each other since our children, now 20 years old, were born. We have shared faith and church family events and laughed, cried and moaned about many things in all those years. Fred is finishing 6 months of chemotherapy. The interesting thing about Fred’s story is that he does not have cancer. What he does have is a rare blood disease, inconvenient but treatable. We know that now. In the beginning of Fred’s trial time, we all thought it was cancer. Like Job, things look bleak and it seemed Fred would lose everything, including his own life. AND like Job, Fred stayed faithful to Jesus’ promise of love and care. AND like Job, Fred saw God bring him to healing and better health than he has ever had.

Ethel is young and we have shared life’s happy things, like graduations as well as life’s sad things like the loss of a parent. She was treated with radiation and she does have cancer. Like Job, Ethel has suffered much. She has also remained faithful and present to Jesus. Jesus has responded in like fashion and our dear Ethel has been blessed with a miracle. She has a cancer that has a genetically specific treatment available. She will be inconvenienced, too, but she will live a long life. She trusted God as Job did and God never fails.

Ricky’s story is different. We lost Ricky to sudden death two weeks ago at the age of 46. An autopsy revealed a hidden genetic heart defect that is undetectable and without symptoms prior to heart failure. Ricky’s mother had the same genetic defect but her death at age 41 many years ago, was, until Ricky’s death, an isolated event, or so they thought at the time, allowing the same defect to take Ricky’s life. There are many of us suffering as we grieve the permanent earthly loss of Ricky, yet, even Ricky shares common ground with Job. Ricky was a Christian and loved Jesus. Therefore, Ricky, too, has received a miracle. He is now a full-time employee and resident with God, our loving Father inside the pearly gates of heaven. Ricky trusted Jesus all his life and his reward is eternal life with Jesus and every Christian’s ultimate desire. So, again, like Job, there is suffering yet there is redemption.

Romans Chapter 8: 28 says this: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose”. Job believed that and God delivered. Read the book of Job and see for yourself (and if you are like me and hate waiting to find out what happens in the end read Chapter 42 of Job first). Job Chapter 42:12 gives us a hint: “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning and…”. (I can’t tell you or it will spoil it for you!)

My point: Fred, Ethel and Ricky all suffered like Job, stayed faithful like Job and were honored and blessed, albeit in different ways, like Job. For me to have watched three people I love suffer in series has challenged my own faith. Yet each story has shown me that God loves us, cares for us, wants the best for us and will bless us more in our latter days, too.

My three “Jobs” are Fred, Ethel and Ricky, and Jesus took care of them all. Jesus will never abandon or forsaken you, either. Romans Chapter 12: 37-38 is God’s promise to us from Sacred Scripture that guarantees that: “…nothing can separate us from the love of God”. My three precious friends have taught me this. My prayer is that as I share their stories and my lessons you, too, will be encouraged in your “next-step-of-faith”. God’s best to you all always and forever. Count on those blessings! Fred, Ethel and Ricky did and now I can, too. And so can you! AMEN!


Copyright © August 8, 2007 – Jo Ludwig. All rights reserved.


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