This is not a message about the book of Job in the Old Testament. Rather, it’s about a blooper I made years ago when I participated in a Toastmaster’s class.

Anyone who has attended a Toastmasters workshop knows that part of the training includes a section where you are required to pick up a piece of paper with a word or topic written on it, then speak about that topic, impromptu, for a set amount of time.

I picked a piece of paper with the word ‘Job’ on it.

Whoever had written the word had capitalized it. So of course, I read ‘Jobe’ rather than ‘Jawb’.

Consequently, I spoke for 5 minutes about ‘Job’ (verse 42:1) from an historical and personal perspective.

The historical perspective was easy, as Job is the oldest book in the Old Testament.

The personal perspective was also easy, as I felt that I was, like Job, a captive in a situation that had no easy or immediate resolution.

When I got up to speak about ‘Job’ my captive audience had no escape other than to listen silently while I ‘waxed eloquent’ for my allotted time.

As I stared at the blank faces staring at me, it dawned on me that I was not speaking about the right topic.

I was supposed to be talking about a ‘job’ which admittedly, would have been much easier!

However, I had been studying the book of ‘Job’ prior to the meeting, so ‘Job’ pronounced ‘jobe’ was fresh in my mind.

The part of verse that I spoke about was the first part which states: “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends…”

That verse had spoken to my heart because at that time I was going through a difficult time. I felt as if I was being held captive in my living arrangement with my husband and could see no way clear to move forward as I so desired to do at that time.

The problem I was dealing with was that for several years I had wanted to move from our small acreage, which was beginning to be too much to handle. My husband did not.

We had a lovely little cottage home on five acres in one of the prettiest areas of the Ottawa Valley. I loved it there as much as he did. However, I was feeling an increasing sense of isolation and was finding the work in maintaining the property more difficult with each passing year. And more so with the added problem of a recent knee injury that limited my mobility to do much of the yard work that was my share toward maintaining our property. My husband was still dancing around like a spring chicken.

For over five years I had prayed daily that the Lord would open the way for us to move closer to a bigger center and that he would give my husband a change of heart so that he too, would see the need to move without me having to pressure him.

The only answer I got was wait.

That was not the answer I was looking for!

As time went on I started to feel very frustrated and confused. My desire to move was a valid one. We were getting older and our property required a lot of work to maintain it. We were also about fifty kilometers from the nearest center where medical and other requisite services were located. I had recently torn the meniscus in my knee when cutting down a tree and was becoming increasingly immobile.

Yet my husband refused to budge.

However, he did encourage me to go on a few scouting trips to see if I could find something in our budget in a place we could both enjoy. But those trips all came to naught as none of the places I checked were acceptable to him.

My feelings of being trapped increased exponentially with each passing year. I became increasingly angry and frustrated. To no avail.

It seemed that I had only two choices: the first was to barge ahead on my own; the second was to trust the Lord and wait for Him to open the right doors for both of us in His time, not mine.

Waiting was Not what I wanted to do.

I felt that I had already more than paid my ‘waiting dues’ and was getting angrier and more frustrated with each passing year.

However, my husband was simply not ready to move forward. And I was not ready to move forward without him.

At least not yet, though my despair was increasing with each passing year, and more so in the last year as my knee was getting progressively painful.

However, once I discovered this verse in Job, I started praying earnestly for my husband.

It is not to my credit that I had overlooked doing so much sooner. I had been more interested in my own desires than in his. Once I started praying that the Lord would meet his needs as well as my own I felt a new quietness in my spirit.

I was to pray that way for two more years before the Lord opened all the right doors for us.

After seven years of praying, seeking the Lord’s guidance and waiting, (which had its own rewards in all the new friends, experiences and many other circumstances both of us experienced during our time of waiting) the Lord graciously, and in no uncertain terms, opened the door for my husband and I to move.

And both of us were in full accord as to this decision!

Once the decision was made, we eagerly moved forward despite all the obstacles we had to overcome in order to do so.

Since then, we have been so blessed. And humbled. The Lord provided for us in ways we could have never thought or imagined.

I shudder to think of all that I would have missed by barging ahead of the Lord.

My husband and I are now happily settled in our new home on the beautiful Canadian prairie city of Steinbach Manitoba and loving it here. (You may get a ‘site not secure’ message.) The site is secure, however, it isn’t officially published yet so you will get that notice until I do finish it and publish it!) The people we have met, the friends we have made, and the lovely new home we have are way more than anything either of us could have ever imagined!

The following is a quote from a long ago exposition of Job 42:10 that was given by Charles H. Spurgeon:

The circumstance which attended Job’s restoration is that to which I invite your particular attention:

“The Lord turned again the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.”

Intercessory prayer was the beginning of Job’s returning greatness. It was the bow in the cloud, the dove bearing the olive branch, the voice of the turtle announcing the coming summer.

When his soul began to expand itself in holy and loving prayer for his brethren, then the heart of God showed itself to him by returning to him his prosperity without, and to cheering his soul within.

Brethren, it is not fetching a laborious compass, when from such a text as this I address you upon the subject of prayer for others. Let us learn today to imitate the example of Job, and pray for our friends, and peradventure if we have been in trouble, our captivity shall be turned.

On a lighter note, in sheer enjoyment of Spurgeon’s poetic, yet powerful preaching, the next time I attend a Toastmaster’s session I hope I pick up a piece of paper with the word ‘Turtle’ on it.

I shall then joyfully ‘wax eloquent’ for 5 minutes about this passage from the Bible as shared in Sturgeon’s message:

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; Song of Solomon 2:12″

On a serious note, that would be a wonderful topic to speak about.

Spurgeon was not referring to a turtle when he referred to the ‘Turtle’ in the above passage. He was referring to the Turtle Dove, which is the most referenced bird in the Bible.

“A turtle dove is a very beautiful and innocent bird, and no bird is mentioned more frequently in the Bible. It does not live upon the flesh of animals, so when Noah sent one out of the ark, the dove soon came back again, because it could find nothing to eat and no rest for the sole of her foot. Noah put out his hand and gently took it in, and it did not go out again for a whole week. The next time Noah let it fly, the dove came back in the evening with a green leaf in her mouth. After another week it went out, and did not come back again to the ark, because the earth was dry.”

The dove was often offered as a sacrifice in ancient times; and was a type of our innocent Savior, to show how he would afterwards be put to death for the guilty. The Holy Spirit once condescended to take the form of a dove, when he rested upon Christ at the time of his baptism. Our Savior speaks of the innocence of this bird when he says to his disciples, “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Thie turtle dove has a very sweet but mournful voice; and this is referred to in the Bible.

Hezekiah, one of the Jewish kings, had been very sick and expected to die; but as he lay on his bed, he prayed that God would be pleased to spare his life.

God heard his prayer, and promised that he should live fifteen years longer. Soon after he was healed of his illness. Hezekiah was grateful to God. He wrote a beautiful song of praise to be sung in the temple. Among other things he told how he felt when he lay so sick upon his bed.

This will explain some verses in the Song of Solomon, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away, for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

It is in reference to this that David says, “Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away, and be at rest; lo, then would I wander far off and remain in the wilderness; I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (You will find these beautiful verses in Psalm 55:2)


1 Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 7: 1861 — Charles Haddon Spurgeon
 Sermon (No.404) Delivered on Sunday Morning, August the 11th, 1861 by the Rev. C. H. SPURGEON, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

2 Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) The Turtle Dove

Okay, I will admit it. I got a ‘bit’ off topic here. Thanks for your patience! If you ever join a toastmaster’s club and find that I am in your group, please exit quickly by the door rather than attempt to escape out the nearest window!!! You never know what I might get side-tracked about next time around! Neither do I! 🙂

There are many expositions by different pastors, preachers and teachers on this difficult book of the Bible. Here is a link to just one of these talks that is both brief and easy to understand.

Now, don’t you have something you should be doing rather than poking around in here? I know I certainly do. Sigh!