“But the falling mountain crumbles away,Job 14:18-22 NASB
And the rock moves from its place;
19 Water wears away stones,
Its torrents wash away the dust of the earth;
So You destroy a man’s hope.
20 You forever overpower him and he departs;
You change his appearance and send him away.
21 His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it;
Or they become insignificant, and he does not perceive it.
22 However, his body pains him,
And his soul mourns for himself.”
Grief. Consuming, overpowering, wearying, mournful grief. Job knew it well. He had lost literally everything. And, his friends eventually opened their mouths and pretty much said all the wrong things.
Over the course of this past year, three of my friends have lost their husbands. Suddenly. I have seen their grief and have seen them worship in the midst of it. I have seen the beautiful work that God is doing with the tool of these hard, incomprehensible losses. I have also seen them worn down and heard their cries to God for comfort and strength. They continue to learn the need to rely on God for every day.
Though He slay me,Job 13:15 NASB
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
While we cannot always see a reason for the events in this world or in our personal lives, we can constantly bring our worry, our fears, and even our doubts to His throne. He adores His children and wants to comfort us through these seasons. I can bring my arguments to Him, bring my questions, bring my heartbreaks. Trying to use human logic to mesh His goodness, sovereignty, and love with the trauma and grief I visibly see never has a satisfactory outcome. I am definitely still learning to reply as Job, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”
Times of questions and wrestling have their place, and prayerfully they will culminate in more complete surrender as I take the time to honestly meditate on God’s character, asking Him to give me a more vivid glimpse of who He is.
“Wisdom and might are with Him;Job 12:13 NASB
Advice and understanding belong to Him.
After all he had been through, Job had a clearer picture of God as a result (especially after what took place in the chapters yet to come). He had confidence in God’s might and wisdom regardless of his current status. The psalmist also shares appropriate ways to approach and speak of God.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.Psalm 100:1-4 (NASB, excerpts)
2 Serve the Lord with jubilation;
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courtyards with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
These exhortations are not based on how we feel or how rosy our life seems.
Shout for joy
Serve the Lord
Bless His name
All these things we can do every day, by choice. I have seen my friends fall on God’s strength to get them through another day and at the end of each day, they know God more intimately and have found another piece of themselves to lay at His feet. They know even better than I the truth of the final verse of this psalm of praise:
5 For the Lord is good;Psalm 100:5 NASB
His mercy is everlasting
And His faithfulness is to all generations.
Lord God, You are Good. You are merciful. Give me the strength and boldness to shout it loud and live it for all to plainly see. Your faithfulness is unmistakable, and so I praise, bless, and serve you. Thank you for walking with me on the beautiful days that life brings and for sheltering my heart and mind on the hard, confusing days. In Jesus name, amen.