Job and Peter are rather prominent figures in the Holy Scriptures. Though the book of Job is just one among the wisdom books of the Old Testament, his story resonates with that of many people living their own hardships, inevitable on this side of Heaven, which perhaps explains his popularity. Peter, of course, was the prince of the Apostles chosen by the Lord and was the rock foundation of the Church and in the evangelization of the whole world.
However, I have been led to regard both these figures of different times in a similar way. If, on one hand, Job was a wealthy and righteous man, on the other hand, so was Peter, at least from what I can infer from the brief mention of his fishing business at his calling by the Lord to follow Him. It also seems to me that both Job and Peter were both patriarchs of their respective extended families. And while Job’s righteousness was mentioned directly, Peter’s was mentioned only indirectly by his faithful allegiance to the Lord. Indeed, while Peter’s righteousness had not been perfected yet before the resurrection of the Lord, neither was Job’s perfect right after he was tried by the enemy.
But there is another similarity between them that was pointed out to me that is perhaps more important: both Job and Peter suffered for the Lord. Yet, in their suffering may also be where both differ. It seems to me that Job’s suffering led to his questioning the Lord’s will and wisdom, whereas Peter’s led to his beginning to accept the Lord’s will and to understand His wisdom. Perhaps I could say that Job’s faith suffered along with him and that Peter’s faith grew along with his suffering. Eventually, the faith of both Job and Peter was perfected by the Lord Himself, but I have the impression that only after they also grew in hoping in the Lord’s providence.
As for me, some of Job’s sufferings are quite familiar. Surely, nothing as terrible has happened to me as to Job, as the Lord, in His kindness, has only allowed my share of sufferings to be analogous to Job’s. Yet, like him, I too moan and look up to Heaven for some consolation. I cannot say that these sufferings are as rubbish to me (cf. Phil 3:8), but I am starting to get a glimpse of the wisdom and mercy of the Lord, for as much as He has not allowed me to suffer more than I can handle (cf. 1Cor 10:13), so has He granted me the graces to bear it for a little while. With Peter, I hope and pray to come to accept the Lord’s will for me and, like him, to surrender myself completely to the Lord and, with Job, say: “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Jb 1:21)
As much as the Lord has done for these patriarchs, He has not removed suffering from the lives of Job and Peter. For, like the Lord, they too were, as I am, to be perfected through suffering (cf. Heb 2:10), so that what I now know partially by faith and hope for, I come to love fully, for “faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1Cor 13:13)