“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.”
Reading Job has been on my heart recently, so when I finished reading Hebrews I decided that now was the time. I believe I was 19 or so when I first remember hearing the story of Job. It inspired me back then, and it has since inspired many of the ways I perceive things today. But I have never read the book. So today is the day!
I started with the first chapter yesterday and by the end of it my jaw was on the floor (not really, but you know what I’m getting at). Basically, God allowed Satan to take almost everything away from Job, and all at once! His life literally fell off a cliff out of nowhere. One servant after another came in and reported the bad news; the worst news of all, that Job’s children had all died in the catastrophic collapse of the eldest brother’s house.
I’ve heard from people that there is no sorrow in this world greater than losing a child. Granted, all of Job’s children sounded older at this time in his life, but ALL of them died at once. I’m sure the pain was unbearable. Yet he turns right around and praises God? How is that even possible?
Imagine someone coming to you and saying that your bank account got hacked, your car has been stolen, your house has been destroyed, all of your insurance won’t cover anything, and that all of your family members have died. It’s actually a really sick thought for you to put yourself in Job’s shoes. How depressing would that be? For most, praising God would be the last things on our minds. Asking God “Why?” would probably be the first thing I would do. Especially because God would be the only thing I have left.
What this passage is teaching me is that God’s wisdom and understanding of the world is so far above my own understanding that praising Him for what’s happening in my life is the only thing we should be doing; not asking “Why?”. Our hearts should be so filled with the fear of the Lord that praising Him is the only answer to our problems. In our own humanness we feel the need to ask God why certain bad outcomes are happening in our lives. But we will never fully understand the wisdom of God, so our attitudes should be nothing but praise in return for all of the obstacles and blessings that get thrown our way. We are His children, he’s going to take care of us. That may mean that we encounter periods of blessing and famine. We should always have the same heart of praise for God no matter what happens in our lives because He is our creator and our Father.
For me, I have a long way to go, but stories like this encourage me to have more of a heart of praise for God at all points in my life. If God were to take everything away from me, which eventually will happen for all of us when we leave this earth to be with God, then my heart should be ready and willing to always praise Him for what’s happening in my life. God has an infinite understanding of the world around us that we will never comprehend. Even in life’s toughest situations, we should always turn back to God with praise and worship for everything He does for us.
Give me a heart of praise for you in all situations. Give me the faith to trust you when everything about my flesh is telling me to doubt you and to curse you for not letting me understand. Give me a heart of gratitude and praise in all situations. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.