The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. Job 1:21
After praying about what God was calling them to do in the next phase of their lives, Mark and Nina determined that moving to the urban core of the city was what they needed to do. They purchased a vacant house and renovation was well underway—then came the storm. Mark wrote in a text message to me: “We had a surprise this morning. The tornado that came through Jefferson City, took out our renovation—down to sticks and bricks. God is up to something.”
Uncontrollable storms are not the only things that surprise us and create confusion in our lives. Not losing sight of God in the midst of misfortune, however, is one of the keys of survival.
The weather catastrophe in Job’s life that resulted in his loss of property and the death of his children (Job 1:19) was but one of the shocking surprises he faced. Prior to that, three messengers had come bearing bad news (vv. 13–17).
On any given day, we can go from feasting to mourning, from celebrating life to processing death, or some other life challenge. Our lives can swiftly be reduced to “sticks and bricks”—financially, relationally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. But God is mightier than any storm. Surviving life’s trials requires faith that’s focused on Him—faith that enables us to say with Job and others, “May the name of the Lord be praised” (v. 21).
What has helped to clear your vision when you’ve lost sight of God? What can you learn from Job that will help you when the storms of life come?
Father, forgive me for the times I lose sight of You in the midst of life’s difficulties. Help me to see You with fresh eyes.
When did the story of Job take place? Several factors point to a patriarchal era similar to Abraham’s (circa 2000 bc), which would make Job one of the oldest books of the Bible. We see a patriarchal family setting. Job’s wealth is measured in terms of livestock and slaves instead of gold and silver (Job 1:3; 42:12; Genesis 12:16). Reference is made to the nomadic Chaldeans (Job 1:17). And Job lives another 140 years after his restoration, which allowed him to see his progeny “to the fourth generation” (42:16).
Job is commended as one who is “blameless and upright; [who] feared God and shunned evil” (1:1). Thousands of years later, he’s commended as a model of righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14, 20) and an example of “perseverance” and unwavering faith in God (James 5:11).