Our pastor just started teaching on the book of Job.
It’s a book full of meaning and for me it’s full of precious lessons.
Years ago when I was 13 my dad was very sick.
He kept going to the Veteran’s hospital because they couldn’t seem to find out what was wrong.
It was 1990 and we’d just moved from California to Oregon.
I can tell you that wasn’t an ideal time to be from the Sunny State.
At least not where we were because a lot of families were suffering from job loss due to the Spotted Owl.
Mom was working every evening at a new job with a nearby school. We often came home to a cold empty house.
Dad came home on the weekends and on one of those I remember he prayed for our meal.
I’d only seen my dad cry once before.
I remembered so clearly. He’d told me someone he loved had died.
Later, I’d learned it was his first wife.
They’d been divorced for many many years, but she’d committed suicide and, understandably, it had hit him hard.
Now he was crying, praying, and he mentioned Job.
I remember he talked about how Job couldn’t understand the trials he was walking through and neither could my dad, but he was telling the Lord he would trust Him.
Dad did eventually get out of the hospital and he didn’t pass away until 1999.
Yet that prayer of my father’s impacted me.
At the time I didn’t have a clue about the book but I determined to read it.
I did and struggled.
At 13 it didn’t make sense.
What was going on that God would allow one terrible thing after another?
Who were these friends of Job’s?
Were they right?
I mean doing wrong things leads to ugly consequences…
Yet the end of the book was clear.
God is so much bigger and better and more aware of the details of life than we can truly understand.
And we can trust Him, even in the midst of terrible tragedy, pain, loss.
I remember thinking that must be what my dad was talking about when he was praying.
I’ve read Job many times since then.
I’m always encouraged by Job’s response to his tragedy:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
I’ve been through a few trials since I was 13.
My dad’s death in a freak accident is one of them.
My own struggle with illness and the reality of my own mortality is another.
Recently I’ve been praying for a friend whose experienced one tragedy after another this year.
We were chatting about all she’s gone through.
“It’s like, what’s next?”
I am sure Job felt the same way.
The fact is I don’t know what is next, nor does my friend.
Job didn’t know either.
He trusted God that no matter what.
I’m praying that for my friend.
No matter what is next, we can trust the LORD.