Read: Job 1 – 2:23
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
I think I would have preferred one of the genealogy lists in the Bible rather than have to try and make sense of the suffering Job went through. But when you really look at it in the light of the whole of Scripture – it’s pretty simple (in an excruciating sort of way).
I have a visceral reaction to this text. Maybe you do too. It’s sort of like watching the teenage children of one of the victims of the Charleston shooting talking about forgiving the one who murdered their mother. Your heart breaks, you feel physical anguish at their loss, yet you are also strangely filled with the beautiful reality of God’s power. Of His love. And that’s what really brings the tears. When we respond to tragedy as one who is rooted in the love and power of God – it’s a breathtaking thing to behold.
And we’re reminded that our lives are not all about – our lives. This is not our home. While we make the most of our days here and live out our God-given purpose of loving Him and glorifying Him forever – still we are strangers and aliens here on earth and we await the day when we will see God face to face. Gasp!! Can you even imagine it!?
And so we return to Job. He had every comfort and happiness one could desire and yet, when it was all taken away, we can see clearly his treasure was in Heaven. His trust in the Lord’s greater plan was complete. It was all about Him.
I’ve had my own struggles this week and I’m sure you’ve had yours. And maybe when you read today’s text you (along with me) thought, “Oh my! Is this the standard? I totally don’t respond to suffering like Job did! I’m all, ‘poor me, why me, help me!'”
But we know that just because God allowed the suffering, He was not absent from the suffering. When I asked God to “help me!!!” this morning with a kid who was on my very. last. nerve. – He was there. Just as was there, enabling Job to see through his suffering and giving him the perspective of eternity.
Oh my goodness, friends, I STINK at this. I mean, seriously, I stink. And it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s 6pm and I haven’t showered yet today due to the antics of the aforementioned kid. Dorothy totally had it right when she said, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” When we’re suffering, the best, most hopeful place for our hearts to be is – home. With our Father. The one who gives and the one who takes away – may the name of the Lord be praised.
Lord God, thank you for the hope we have in Jesus. That some day, we will be home with you, away from the tears and suffering. Until that day comes, Lord, help me to honor you and live in hopeful expectation as I live out my purpose here on earth. May Your name be praised. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, amen.