“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”1
If you spend any amount of time watching the news, you know that sometimes when storms hit, they can leave paths of destruction and damage, causing utter devastation for some. We watch in sadness when hurricanes leave families without homes. We feel horror when tornadoes strike without warning leaving communities with irreplaceable loss. But most of us can say that we have never been through that kind of suffering.
Job, in the Bible, was not so fortunate. Job had everything; he was healthy and had a beautiful family. He was wealthy and lived comfortably. He was known for being “perfect, and upright...and one that feared God” (Job 1:1). But all in one day, his oxen, donkeys and camels were stolen and many of his servants were murdered; a fire consumed his flock of sheep and the shepherds watching over them; and just when Job thought he could take no more, a tornado swept through, as his ten children visited together, and destroyed the home, taking the lives of each of them.
This trial might be more than anyone could bear, and our first reaction might be to shout out, “WHY, GOD?!” But Job, realizing that everything he had was a gift from God, fell to the ground and worshipped God, saying... “the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD”! I can honestly say that these would not be the first words from my mouth, and I am so thankful that God chose to give us this example. Job went through unbearable suffering and because he chose to face it with a grateful heart, the Lord blessed him and replenished his loss twice over.
God may not always bless us the way He blessed Job; He may not always repay us for the troubles we go through in life. But the lesson we can take from Job is not the thankfulness he felt when God replenished his loss, but rather his thankfulness during his time of trial and suffering. At one point, Job said to his wife, “Shall we only accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10). This is a great example of thanksgiving, that in the midst of great loss, we can give praise to the One who gives and takes away!
Thanksgiving is a time to acknowledge all the blessing that God has given us, but do we remember to thank Him for all the things He has chosen to take away? Although not an easy task, God is worthy of our praise even in the darkest of times. Let’s thank Him for His unconditional love and mercy – even through the storm.
Dear Lord, during this week of Thanksgiving, help me to remember that your plan for me is perfect. Thank you for giving me the example of Job to remind me that I can be thankful no matter what circumstances I may be living though. I know your love for me is constant and your mercy is abounding. And today, for the things you have given me, and also for the things you have taken away – I thank you. Gratefully, In Jesus’ name, Amen.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.