Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, walked the greatest man in the East. His life bubbled over with everything he could possibly desire, oodles of wealth, ten children, vast herds and tons of servants. I picture a life of palm trees and fabulous feasts with the best of everything like a swank all-inclusive resort.
And better yet, he lived a blameless life and wore his gratefulness daily as a faithful servant of God.
But one dark day the winds changed to bitter as evil forces enacted a diabolical plan.
And the bridge over troubled waters began to creak and groan and sway.
But this is not a fairytale.
We all know Job true.
He lived and breathed and just like us he worried about his children and their spiritual condition.
Yet his flesh and blood story remains one of the most amazing in all scripture.
Yes he whined,
And cried out,
And asked “Why me?” just like I would.
But here’s the real deal…the one that sets him apart,
He persevered through the unimaginable grief and excruciating pain without ever knowing the “Why?”
We have a bible so we can read about Satan’s evil plan to destroy him, but he didn’t know. He had no idea of the wicked plot targeted against him, to have his children killed, his riches wiped out, and terrible physical maladies to crush him.
Satan sneered, “He only serves you God because you protect him and give him more than he could possible desire.”
Within one cruel hour Job lost everything but some finger pointing friends and and unsupportive wife. In an appalling stroke, she instructed him with brutal words, to curse God and die. And Job said—Just…no.
What happens when the rug is pulled out and we lose what we have? Our job? Our health? Our marriage? A cherished friendship? A family member?
Do we stay on solid ground with our eyes toward heaven and our hand in his? Or do we falter and sink alone into the mire of Satan’s making?
He was told of the calamities–bam, bam, bam, by sole surviving servants, as his world crumbled to ashes.
Yet profound words fell from his lips in two declarations.
Amazing statement number one:
“…He tore his robe and shaved his head, then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart…” Job 1:20-21
Amazing statement number two:
And his words are forever written on my heart,
“Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him.” Job 13:15
Through it all he bowed humble to God’s might and power. Somehow, despite the pain and sorrow, he clung by a thread to God’s faithfulness.
Eventually he was healed and blessed beyond his wildest dreams. But there had to be an underlying sadness for the irreplaceable losses of children gone forever.
Faithful does not mean a trouble-free life. In fact it can mean the exact opposite. The evil one schemes most desperate to upend us,
To laugh in God’s face and say, “See, I told you so!”
Our loving God is faithful and true, but he knows to be a better me, I have to walk through the fire. Which means even with all the blessings, and even with my hand in his, I will have trials to endure and losses to morn.
He does not expect perfection,
And when I falter weak, he will always, always be there to pick me up and stand me upright once more.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2