Nostalgia is big business in our society. We love to look back on the good ole’ days with a sense of longing. We feel that we’ve lost something somewhere along the way and long to recover it. We look for it in music, pictures, symbols, and thoughts of yesterday.

Literary critics identify this as one of most common themes in all literature. They call it the banishment story. It begins with an exile which is followed be a painful, dangerous journey which in a tragedy leads to a dead end. But in a comedy it leads to reunion. In his suffering, Job longs for his previous life. He cries, “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness, as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent.”

Stories of banishment begin with a scene in which the exile takes place. The most profound banishment story is the one that belongs to the whole human race and is recorded for us in Genesis chapter 3. That’s the original scene of exile. It’s the expulsion from the garden of Eden. In a single moment the entire human race becomes an exile from its original home. It awakens the deepest emotions of regret and nostalgia. But it also serves as the background for the journey that is to follow. It’s a hard journey. It’s often a painful journey. It’s the call Abraham answered to follow his dream to the promised land. It’s the journey of faith. And it’s a journey that ends like a comedy. Although there is much suffering in Job’s life, his story is still a comedy. It ends with the complete fulfillment of his nostalgic longings.

Our journey is guaranteed a comedy ending as well. Regardless of the suffering and pain and difficulties in our journey, we know our ultimate destination. That’s why God gave us the Bible. In 1 John 5:13 we read, “I’ve written these things to you who believe in Jesus Christ, so that you will KNOW, you have everlasting life.”

“You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together.” (Job 10:10-11)