I can't imagine Job's experience. It's recorded for us, of course, but I can't really imagine it. What we're experiencing with Ian doesn't come close to what he experienced, but it is a taste. Ongoing difficulties like this feel like being pinned under a waterfall that doesn't stop. The pressure and the churning are constant. On bad days you feel like you're trying to catch your breath from the sadness and difficulty of it all. The difficulty doesn't have to be as intense and multifaceted as Job's for the experience to be the same. We think we shouldn't feel we're caught up in or weakened by the churning of the waterfall, but it seems to be a common experience to those in ongoing difficulties.
The natural temptation is to "contend with the Almighty" as a faultfinder (Job 40:2), to wonder whether this God in whom we've placed our trust really is good or not or whether He's really in control or not. I've felt that temptation. I want to learn from Job, though, who had more reason than me to question God. I want to learn what he learned as a result of his terrible experience: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." Job learned to humble himself and submit himself to the sovereign hand of God in both the bad and the good experiences.
Remembering that no purpose of God's can ever be thwarted doesn't make the waterfall stop, but it does help me keep our troubles in perspective. Things aren't out of control; God is very much in the waterfall. I don't know why He's allowed all this, but I know He's in control.
Remembering this also drives me back to the One who is in control of the waterfall. I know that He wants to give me the best: Himself. He wants me to experience His help. I'm so grateful for the kindness and help of our church and even of people I've never met (and may never meet). It really is a huge help to have people helping us; it gives me a taste of God's attentive care for us. But, I recognize that my Father in heaven is the only One who ultimately can help me, and I need to regularly ask Him to sustain me and lean on Him moment by moment.
Thank you for praying for us and for Ian.