February 16, 2009
Our Choices in the Midst of Tragedy
Imagine for a moment what it must have felt like to be in Job’s sandals. Warriors, fire, and wind wiped out his vast fortune and killed his children. To add injury to insult, his boil-infested body was so irritated that he scratched at the enflamed skin with a shard of pottery. Had Job believed in luck rather than the Lord’s sovereignty, He likely would have taken his wife’s advice to “curse God and die” (2:9).
Job was brought low and he didn’t know why. Read the book carefully, and you’ll notice that he never learned the reason behind his testing. The reader is privy to the conversation between God and Satan, but the Lord did not share those details with his humbled servant. Left in the dark, Job had to decide if his faith in God’s goodness would stand.
Viewing the new chapter in his life as part of the Lord’s larger plan (42:2), Job made a courageous choice to trust God in the midst of tragedy. The impoverished man could have railed against God, as his wife suggested. Or he might have followed his friends’ unwise advice and racked his brain for an unconfessed sin that earned divine punishment. But neither of those actions would have been fruitful. Instead, Job acknowledged God’s right to do to him whatever He desired for the glory of His name (Job 1:21).
Accepting the good things that God sends our way is easy. Our challenge is to receive tragedy with a willing attitude and a teachable spirit. Chance is not part of the equation—nothing comes into our life except through the Lord’s permission.
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