"Where seldom is heard a discouraging word..." - Home on the Range
God spoke to me this afternoon as I was reading the first chapter of Job. Here is a man who had everything - seven sons, three daughters, lots of cattle and sheep and camels - this means little to this non-farm girl, but in Biblespeak it means he was very wealthy.
Then Satan slithered over and told God that Job was a fair-weather friend who only loved Him because of all His blessings. So God gave Satan permission to take everything Job had, so long as he did not harm Job himself. And then, ka-blam! Calamity struck! Armies invaded, a tornado hit, lightning struck, and all of Job's children and possessions were dead and gone.
What did Job do next? He cried, he swore, he raised his fists and yelled at God...
What? No, he did none of those things. The Bible says he mourned (tearing his clothes, shaving his head) and then WORSHIPPED God. "I brought nothing with me into this world, and I can take nothing with me when I die. Everything I have comes from God, and now He has taken it away. May His name be praised!"
And the Word further tells us that "in all of this Job did not sin or blame God."
Obviously Job was a man whose love for God went far, far beyond the blessings He had given him. I mean, God allows Satan to take away all he has, and he praises Him instead of blaming Him? That would not be MY first reaction!
Okay, let's be honest. I complain when I misplace something or the dishwasher breaks or the kids argue with me or minor inconveniences get in my way. I argue with God when He doesn't answer my prayers the way I want. And when calamity strikes, when I am overwhelmed or griefstricken and simply don't understand, I don't praise...I yell. I go into my prayer closet (or the car - since I spend so much time driving kids around) and I raise my voice and say, "I don't understand! Why? Where were You? Where ARE You? Are You still in charge? I need to hear from you!"
Job never DID hear why all this happened to him...not in chapter 1 and not by the end of chapter 42. Yet he still praised God, worshipped Him, acknowledged Him as sovereign. I want to be like Job when I grow up...if I ever do grow up.
Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief. Help me to trust in you so firmly and fervently that even life's storms and calamities cannot shake my belief that You love me, that You are here, and that You are in control. Help me model this unshakeable faith to my children, that all future generations of my family may glorify Your name. Amen.
*(This post by literary agent Dan Balow is excerpted from an article that first appeared on The Steve Laube Agency blog. It is used with his permission.)* ...