Lessons from the Story of Job
Life has a way of throwing unexpected curve balls. If you are like so many in this current season, you probably have received a few. Although we may be shell-shocked from the impact, our hope is anchored in the One who carries the words of eternal life. That does not mean that we won’t feel disappointed or overwhelmed, but it does mean there is always life after pain.
I have been thinking about the book of Job (generally not my go-to book), which is considered one of the books of wisdom in the Bible. After a horrific time and losing so much, Job's friends came around him to say, "You must have done something wrong; God orders the world, therefore, you are getting what you deserve." Why do we and other Christians have these kinds of mindsets? What if our mindset was "What did Job do right to deserve a double blessing from the Lord?"
The friends and Job go back and forth in a poetic dual of words as to why God sent such suffering. However, Job eventually questioned God's sovereignty at one point and asked Him for explanations. God said, "I am too complex for you--creating and running the whole universe. You only see through your lens; you can not possibly understand My wisdom." Job ended up humbling himself without having answers or understanding why this all happened; nevertheless, he worshiped God unreservedly. This is one of the most valuable life lessons we can learn but one of the hardest to stomach.
But, just when you think the book is over, God decides to restore double to Job. If you look closely, there was nothing Job did wrong to deserve what was taken, and you can’t really say that God was rewarding him with blessing due to his misfortune; it was more to do with the heart of a compassionate Father towards His son.
Do we as humans need to equate every life lesson as a reward or a penalty? What if it is neither? What if bad things can happen to good people and good things can happen to good people? Neither determines your place in the Kingdom or God's perspective of you. At the end of the story, Job says, "I knew about You, but now I really know You; I have seen You." He says, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:5). Seeing God is different than only "hearing of Him." We can hear the voices of many people we have never met through different mediums, but seeing people signifies that we are in closer relationship with them.
How precious it is, if we can come out of our "Job seasons" in life seeing the handprint of God all over them, instead of nursing the wounds of life.