John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for November 23, 2021

BITTER ANGUISH - NOW A RESOLVE

There is no bigger or better word to describe the feelings I have had over the last ten days than the word "ANGUISH." And there is no other adjective I can use in front of that word than "BITTER."

"Bitter anguish" - What is that?

In the Old Testament book of Job, we find these words, uttered by Job himself when he was at the point in his life wherein he thought life was futile: “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." (Job 7:11).

What prompted him to say this?

The story of Job is not lost in our day as it is kept alive by many Jews and Christians who suffer under oppression, loss or personal sufferings. Although the typical American you meet on the street these days may not know who Job was, much less what the Bible is or says (thanks to the far-Left who are governed by the Evil One, i.e. Satan), many grow up hearing about this devout man who was successful in all of his endeavors when, all of a sudden (and thanks to the devil) he losses his family (10 children in all) to a windstorm that brought the house in which they were celebrating together, and killed them all.

Just before their deaths, the Sebeans came to his territory and although Job's servants fought them, all but one escaped death. Immediately afterwards, a fire (perhaps from a volcano) erupted and consumed all of his sheep and those hired to tend to them. Then, the Chaldeans rose up and made a raid on Job's camels, took them off and killed the laborers tending to them.

So Job lost his farm, his land, his flocks and livelihood and all ten of his children. His response: He shaved his head (signifying the state or condition in which he came into the world - naked and bald - and worshipped God saying: "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

He lost his family (except his wife), his property and his livelihood.

Then, as if that wasn't enough for him to endure, Job was stricken with sores and boils. He took broken pieces of pottery with which to scrap his sores and while doing that his wife came along and tried to urge, no manipulate, him to curse God for all that has been inflicted on him. "Curse God and die!" she said.

Over the last nine days that thought crossed my mind more than once. Losing Reggie was a terrible blow. He was and is my last dog. I am too old to get another for fear that he or she will outlive me and then what would become of him/her? Besides, there will never be another like Reggie so why bother?

I have come to believe that what happened that Saturday Night, November 14th was that same thing that happened on Friday Night, September 16, 2016. I had to have both of my beloved dogs put to sleep. For hours I laid on the floor with Princess begging God to go ahead and take her. He didn't. Nor did He take Reggie.

As he could not catch his breath, labored as it was, his heart failing, I asked God to take him so I would have to do to him what I had to Princess. Reggie continued to suffer. So, Janice and I took him in to get looked over, have the whole situation accessed and there were no surprises. God just wouldn't take him.

You see, I now know I had to give him to God. I had to make the move. I did that for both of them.

Maybe this was so that I couldn't blame God for taking them. Or maybe He was testing my faith. Or possibly it was because I regarded them as good substitutes for God. I mean, I seemed to talk to them more than God. I regarded their presence around me as more comforting that being in God's presence.

Now, I stand alone - alone, unless I want to invite God in and fill the void.

Alone! That sucks.

Why?

Because it forces me to think and reflect on lots of things, many of which hurt and the pain the thoughts bring create BITTER ANGUISH.

Job says I will not keep silent. Unlike me, Job was singing the praises of God and putting God before him to talk with and to have a closeness to. Me, on the other hand, I am not silent for talking about the time and the many occasions and situations in the life of Princess and Reggie. I talk about them constantly. I have created a shrine for Reggie in both of my offices, at home and at church.

While Job sings God's praises and tell anyone who listens about the joy those two dogs brought to my life and I am left to tears. See the contrast? And now I am starting to feel ashamed as I am coming to know that I inadvertently substituted my little family members for God. Not all the way, mind you. Just enough to bring more pain than it is worth into my life with their deaths.

Job says he will "speak out in the anguish of my spirit" and the speech he gives throughout this Old Testament Book is nothing but praising God. He uses praise as medicine. Me, on the other hand, I don't praise God, I sit an ask Him over and over again, "Why did you want me and have me to give Princess and Reggie to you? Why didn't you take them?"

You see the ANGUISH? It is all centered in misdirected anger. I am angry with God while Job didn't blame God at all for taking his everything away.

Job also said in that verse "I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." The Hebrew word for "complain" is often translated as "muse" or more often, "to meditate."

Wow! What does it mean to meditate on the bitterness of the soul?

Well, it means to reflect. How, then, does one reflect on the things that have virtually destroyed everything that you love and have?

I have come now to the conclusion that it is alright to reflect, ponder or look with fondness on those days with Princess and Reggie and rather than use them as substitutes for God, to see how God actually lived in their lives!

How is that possible, you ask?

Our pets are almost perfect examples of unconditional love. They love us, no matter what. They are quick to forgive and to forget. Does not God do that with us?

And as for the word "bitter," well it doesn't really mean what we think it may mean. The Hebrew word is the one that was used to describe an Arabian gum tree, and particularly the gum exuding from the dark bark of the tree. As a flowing ingredient, it became the main source for sacred oils used in burials, in other words, it is Myrrh. When put near the nostrils is gave forth a fragrant smell and was also used as perfume.

Now, here is what I glean from that last phrase in Job 7:11, my complaint in the bitterness of my soul should be a reflection on my dogs having been given to me as a gift by God and that reflection needs to be aromatic; a nice fragrance of wonder and joy. It also needs to be the myrrh that was once given to the Baby Jesus by the Wise Men as a look into the future of His eminent death and the perfume Mary brought with her to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.

I need to spread the perfume of joy over my memories and anoint my doggies with the myrrh as they have passed from here into what I hope and pray is truly a Rainbow Bridge experience.

This is probably the last time I blog about Reggie. Oh, I will mention him from time to time, make no mistake about that. His life contained a number of amusing stories that make for good illustrations. But it is time to get on with life. I don't mind telling anyone that "getting on with life" is not easy. To me, "getting on" means continuing to do the same thing as I was doing before.

How can I? I did a lot with Reggie. What "getting on with life" now means is moving ahead with adjustments. Those adjustments have to be planned out, and often brings on trials by error. I don't know how to do it.

Last night, while sitting in a chair in front of Reggie's and Princess's burial site I played the piano music of Owen Richards. I played the songs that Reggie and I often listened to on the back deck or in the den after Janice went to bed. I often think that in his own way he tried to tell me before he passed that when I play that music, he will come to me. And he did that last night, obviously in my thoughts. I have been out to his site every night since he was buried. This was the first night without the tears.

It was difficult, the wind was blowing; a secondary cold front was passing through; the temperatures were dropping into the low 40's and the acorns were falling off of the trees above like it was raining. I was actually pelted a couple of times. But I continued to listen to the music, stopping before the last song I played for him in the hospital just before he passed. I couldn't bear to hear that one. It was because I stopped that I made it through the evening with a resolve. That is, to keep his memory forever in my heart and his sweet, brave spirit alive as I look out into the back yard that he played in and ran throughout and now, while sitting in this office and gazing upon his two little mats that he moved around to make into a bed. He is alive to me and will forever be present.

I don't know if I am going to blog tomorrow. I just wanted to let anyone who cares and reads these words to know, that I am alive and am going to make it. That is what Reggie would want for me to do. I should be back to a regular routine of blogging soon.

My grandson, Wesley, is coming up tonight and is going to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his dad, Janice and me. He is a hand full and is a character. He would make a sick salamander laugh. That is what I need...a good laugh.

Until sometime soon ...

Blog for November 19 Next Blog Coming Soon

Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.