by Sarah Langness
I love my son. I love his high-pitched squeals and “songs”. I love his smile that takes up his entire face. I love his newly found sounds of “da-da-da” and “ba-ba-ba”, along with other vowel/consonant combinations I cannot spell. That little man fills me with such joy! But I’ll be honest, this last week when he and I were up at three in the morning for the sixth straight night, both tired of bulb syringes, I was not filled with joy. I was exhausted.
It’s easy for us to accept the good things in life, isn’t it? It’s easy for us to praise God in the easy situations, in the times filled with joy. But it’s a whole different story when trouble comes. Our joy turns to mourning. Our praise turns to questioning. Our thanks turns to doubt.
This morning as I drank a day-old cup of coffee and read over the first two chapters of Job, I was struck by something Job said to his wife. Everything but his life (and the life of his wife) was taken. His oxen. His sheep. His camels. His servants. His children. His health. And when his wife yells at him, telling Job to just to get it over with – to curse God and die – his response is startling:
“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” – Job 2:10
Shall we indeed! We love it when God blesses us. But what about when He sends trials? Not so much, eh?
We forget sometimes that God isn’t surprised at the trials that come our way. We forget that He has a purpose in those trials. We forget that His goodness is not dependent upon our circumstances. We may even forget that He is with us during those difficult times.
“He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. . . He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The LORD is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” – Hebrews 12:10-11; 13:5-6, 8
I’m not saying that adversity is easy to take or that its weight isn’t crushing. But in those moments of deep pain and utter darkness, may we do as Job did turn to the LORD. To the One who knows and understands our pain. To the One who deserves our praise and thanks no matter how strong the storm around us.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.Blessed be the name of the LORD.'” – Job 1:20-21