So what I know about me is that I am a teacher at heart. Because I’m wired that way, maybe also because I come from a long line of teachers, including my mom and dad who were both great public school teachers back in the day. As was Susan. I say that because processing information out loud is not only what teachers do for those listening to them – it’s what tends to help me.
I say that because I think I’ll be processing some stuff out loud here that I’m learning. Just know that I’m not trying to teach YOU, as much as I’m trying to just work through things. (But if you pick up something along the way, it’s a win-win, right?) Even if no one is reading, it’s good for me to do. I think I just have a natural bent to share what I am learning.
I started reading the book of Job yesterday. I’d been avoiding it for awhile (it’s about a guy who lost everything) but it felt like the right time – it was kind of calling to me, if that makes sense. I may post a few thoughts on this book over the next days or weeks, as things hit me. So far I have found great comfort here.
A little backstory (but you may want to read it yourself) – Job was a man who was blameless and upright, and loved God. He had a great family and great wealth. Satan came to the Lord one day and asked to test Job. God was bragging on his servant, and Satan basically said, “Strike everything he has, and see if he still worships you then.” God said, “OK, he is in your hands, just don’t kill him.” So Job subsequently lost his cattle, camels, servants, and ultimately his sons and daughters.
If anyone knew what grief felt like, it was Job.
This is what has drawn me to him in recent days. He began to grieve. The bible says he tore his robe and shaved his head. It also says part of his grieving process was worship. Does this sound counterintuitive? It did to me from the outside looking in. But listen to what he says:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
He is not only worshiping in the midst of his grief, he is pointing out the truth. Or maybe that’s what worship is anyway – declaring the truth. We have nothing when we come into this world. We will have nothing when we leave. Just me, just you, just your heart, your soul. We are not promised more than that.
This is hard to understand. But I found myself on Sunday morning at church, worshiping God with my church family. I didn’t feel angry at Him, I wasn’t cursing Him. I was sad. And yet, I found myself able to sing and mean the words. I’m not saying that I am someone special or extremely faithful – far from it. Just telling you that in the middle of this, I somehow know a little more of where Job was and why he turned immediately to God and found himself declaring His truth.
It helped me Sunday. It helps me today. Maybe it’s that there is an Answer to all of this out there. Not just out there, but close by. That He is still Lord over all things.
It also helps to remember some of the last words Susan wrote to me – “Don’t waste time being mad at God, Jerel. We both know He is good…”.
Much, much more I want to say about Job. Probably enough for today though. Talk to you tomorrow.