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“There was a man in the country of Uz named Job.  He was a man of complete integrity who feared God and turned away from evil.”  Job 1:1 CSB

Oftentimes, when reading the Bible, I forget that the stories contained within its pages are stories about people.  Job was written in the 6th century with some chapters added on later.  Job was a man who believed and trusted in the Lord, he refused to waver from his belief.  Even when his three friends tried to dissuade him otherwise, he trusted God. The question of undeserved suffering remains unanswered as we realize, God’s ways are not our ways.  As God asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4).  Job learns in the final chapters, our humanity can’t understand God’s sovereignty completely here on earth.

Job teaches us so much through his story.  The interaction between his three friends teaches us how to be friends to those around us, if nothing else, by not doing what they did.  Each of them, in their own way try to find explanations for why Job has lost everything, yet none of them really had the answer. No one does when tragedy strikes.  We can’t possibly begin to understand why bad things happen to good people, but we can continue to trust God in the midst of it. Job shows us how to do that in the pages of his book.  He stayed focused on God.

At the end of chapter one, after he has lost his children, his money and his health, this is what he does:  “Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshipped saying: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life.  The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Throughout all this, Job did not sin or blame God for anything” Job 1:20-22 CSB.   That is why I am thankful for Job, when I’m feeling sorry for myself, when I am having a bad day, I think of these verses.  I think of what Job did when he was in the pit of life, and then I try and do the same. I try to worship God from the valley.  I try to remember I came into this world naked and I’m leaving it naked. God gives and God takes away, He is the one in control.  Remembering that, also helps me be thankful for what I do have instead of focusing on what I don’t have. We never know how long we’re going to have the good, we need to appreciate it when we do.  Job has taught me a lot over the years, and he continues to do so. 

Today I’m thankful for Job.  What are you thankful for?

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