These passages pulse with life. I notice the line separating before from after. It is a significant mark. Life before the trial. Life after. My own life is marked by before-and-after events, so I pay special attention to Job’s story.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years. (Job 42:10-17, NIV, emphasis mine)
This story has a sort of happy ending, but I always wondered if the restoration ever made the loss go away–especially when it came to Job losing his (before) children. In life after, he has ten more children. I take special note that his daughters’ names are mentioned specifically. In addition, they are seen as beautiful. And even more than that, they were given an inheritance along with their brothers. They were treasured and honored. While the Bible doesn’t speak of this directly, as I read this paragraph, I notice life post-loss with a new appreciation. Post-loss, life and all the things that can be taken away reveal their value. And it’s not to say these things/people weren’t valued before, but that in light of loss, moments in the after seem more precious. Maybe that’s why Job’s daughters’ names were mentioned, and that they were so beautiful, and that he made sure to leave something for each of them as well–because he had a new appreciation for life and its abundance.
Lord, I am so grateful you know my name. I’m so grateful that you love me. This reading is a gift to me.