During this time of seclusion, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly has spent some significant time binge-watching Hallmark mystery movies.
The other night as we were watching, one of the characters was a very old, grouchy, mean-looking woman who had nothing nice to say about anybody.
In the middle of the movie, my wife looked at me and said, “Does that woman remind you of anybody?”
Whenever my wife asked me a question, I never know if it is a trick question or if she is looking for information.
Therefore, I responded in the negative.
“Just look at her,” my wife explained, “doesn’t she remind you of Aunt Flora?”
I paused for a moment and then responded, “Oh, my goodness. She sure does.”
Aunt Flora was a very grouchy, complaining old woman. She could find a dark cloud in every burst of sunshine. No matter how good a situation might be, she could find the bad in it and exploit it.
I never spent too much time with her, but I remember one time she gave me some advice.
“Sonny,” she couldn’t remember my name, “when everything fails, it’s over.” I cannot tell you how many times I heard her say that.
During a commercial in the movie we were watching, I talked to my wife about my aunt Flora in the kind of person she was. My wife knew Aunt Flora for a relatively short time, but you only had to meet her once to know what she was really all about.
“Do you know who Aunt Flora reminded me of?”
I stared at my wife a little bit, shook my head, and said, "No. Who does she remind you of?”
I was prepared for a whole lot of comparisons.
Thinking for a moment, she finally said, "Aunt Flora reminds me of Job's wife in the Old Testament."
Aunt Flora was certainly a modern-day Mrs. Job.
You remember the story in the Old Testament. The story of Job and all of the conflict, problems and disaster that came down upon him.
Amid those problems, Mrs. Job comes to her husband and says, "Curse God, and die" (Job 2:9). I cannot imagine any wife saying such a thing to her husband. Yet, that is exactly what old Aunt Flora would have done.
I do not know how Job really got through all his problems, particularly when he did not have a wife to support him. I think she had the same attitude as Aunt Flora.
What I like about Job was, despite his wife's encouragement to give up, Job said something that amazes me. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15a).
Job did not hold to the same ideas as Mrs. Job or Aunt Flora, which says, “When everything fails, it’s over.”
While we were talking about Aunt Flora, I happen to think of one of my favorite verses in the Bible. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
In one way, Aunt Flora was right. When everything fails, it’s over. But not the way she thought. Looking at it from Job’s point of view, when everything fails, it is time for God to do what only God can do.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]