A faith like Job

We recently dealt with a great hardship in my family. I know when people think of hardships, they generally lean towards the death (or deaths) of close family members, situations detrimental to living, like the loss of jobs and homes of people raising large families, or even tragic events of unfathomable circumstance, like Job faced.
Our personal hardship was not of this magnitude as far as most people would be concerned. I think that when the Lord allows trials they are usually relative to the person, and ours was perfectly proportioned for the time and place.
Our dog passed away while giving birth. It was a grossly tragic day because of the events that took place leading up to her passing. I will spare the details, but she had many seizures, was in a lot of pain, stopped breathing at one point and my husband managed to revive her - it was one thing after another. Since there is no vet here in town, there was literally nothing we could do.
At several points throughout that day and night, I collapsed in prayer.
I have always wondered what compels someone to ultimately and literally fall on their knees before the Lord, and now I could understand. I felt like I was throwing myself before the Lord, practically pleading at him not to take Sobe. I was sobbing and begging that we keep her for just a little longer because I was not ready to let her go.
At one point, the Lord told me that she had eight puppies and they were all black and white. I thought he told me this to let me know that everything was going to be okay, but I was wrong.
It turned out to be true, and I could not begin to imagine why the Lord had told me that if neither her nor her puppies were going to make it anyways.
The hardest part was the kids waking up the next morning, wondering how many puppies had been born; and us having to tell them that not only were there no puppies, Sobe was gone.
I spent a lot of time crying, and a lot of time blaming myself. I just kept thinking that I should have done something differently and everything would be different now. I was so broken by the experience, to see her suffer and all we had gone through for hours and hours - only to lose her at the end.
I am still shaken and find myself breaking down and crying and praying now and again. Little things set me off, and it suddenly hits me all over again that she is gone and I will never get to hold her again.  Through the whole thing I searched and sought out a reason, something I have to learn from this. I know that there are always reasons for unanswered prayers, and while I have such an easy time seeing the solutions to the problems of others, I could find no solution for myself.
It was several weeks later that I was having one of these moments, crying and praying and I once again collapsed on the floor.
And I asked God "Why did you ignore me?"

In my normal human mind, the miniscule and incomprehensible thing that it is, I cannot even begin to understand God or who He truly is. But I know, as all followers of Christ with even a mustard seed of faith, that he never leaves us. He does not turn his back on us and he is always there to surround us and hear us. He knew, even with this question, what I was really asking.
"Why didn't you answer my prayer? Why is she gone? Why did you let this happen? What am I supposed to learn here?"

The Lord's voice filled me once again, just like it had before, and He revealed His Truth to me.

I did not ignore you; I wept with you.

I realize now why he had told me that there were eight puppies and they were all black and white - because of that one moment, that one tiny and seemingly insignificant thing, I was able to recognize his voice and believe Him now. I was overcome with tears, half of sadness and half of joy, and I could feel that I was surrounded with love.

I maintained the questions of why, knowing that there was a reason somewhere. Obviously the Lord does not want us to suffer, to be broken, to feel such sadness that we are shaken and hurting.. so why did he do this then?

"Jesus cannot forget us; we have been graven on the palms of his hands." - Lois Picillo

 At church today, our pastor discussed the book of Job; and even though we all know the story and the moral, it's funny how many details were brought out for me. It was not God who cast these troubles on Job; he had given permission to Satan to do it. When Job was tested he kept his faith and continued to praise the Lord through it. What is it worth to hear God's voice and know that he has a plan for you?

I know people who have lost loved ones, lost their homes, or just plain didn't get what they want - and they turned and cursed God. These poor circumstances are not justification for being angry at Him, as the book of Job demonstrated.
A messenger came to Job and told him he had suddenly lost his oxen, and donkeys, and while that messenger was still speaking another came to tell him the sheep were gone, and while still speaking YET ANOTHER messenger came to say the camels were gone and one more, while that one was still talking, to tell him that his seven sons and three daughters had been killed. Oh yeah, and among those tragedies all the servants were gone too.

If anyone thinks there is any justification to turn from God, surely this would be it. As it were, Satan had approached the Lord, saying that he had been roaming the earth; he scours back and forth for people to destroy. And the Lord's answer? He said "Have you considered my servant Job?"

Do not mistake this for the Lord throwing Job under the bus. In reality, this momentous occurrence served boundless purposes, one of which was to quash the devil and his plans for Job's ultimate destruction. [more about that here] Satan's plan was to anger Job until he cursed the Lord and because of God allowing his servant to be stricken with hardships, a servant whom was described as blameless, upright, fearing God and shunning evil, it backfired in the devil's face; a huge victory for the Kingdom of God and a true example how we are to maintain our integrity in the face of trials. When Job was told the news by the messengers he said;

 “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.”

Through it all, Job did not curse the Lord or even sin by "charging the Lord with wrongdoing." He did not place bitterness and blame; he chose instead to praise God. When, once again the devil asked to test Job, the Lord allowed him to afflict Job with sores.

9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
 10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” 
   In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

This is not to say that He allows us to be tormented and suffer just to throw it in the face of the devil. Luke 22:31 shows us another purpose of the Lord allowing the devil to test us;

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus was telling Peter that Satan had asked to tempt and try them all, and that when it was all over, he was to use it for the betterment of others. It is a rare thing to see someone suffering, with feelings of "why me, God??" and yet still praising the Lord with a servant's heart. But this is what Job did, knowing that the Lord can give or take away and our purpose is the Lord's. He also continued to pray for his friends who were speaking wrongly of the Lord in Job's presence.
In the end, the Lord doubled his blessing to Job, giving him fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. He gave him seven sons, and three daughters, who were more beautiful than anyone in the land.
The Lord knows that we may not understand all that is laid before us. He speaks to Job and shows his perfection in all creation - who is to question the small matters that afflict us? He can make it work for good. [The Lord's words to Job - inspiring reading]
Job 42:1 says:

1 Then Job replied to the LORD:  2 “I know that you can do all things;
   no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
   Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me to know.

 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
   I will question you,
   and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
   but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
   and repent in dust and ashes.” 

Job came to a point of understanding; before, he heard God, but by the end, he had seen him. His own personal trial had brought him closer to God and to the comprehension of God's ultimate plan for good for him. This is how we should all strive to react to the poor circumstances that may be unleashed upon us. It is a faith like Job's faith that will bring us through it.  No matter what we go through, the Lord wants to see us strengthened through it, our peers strengthened through it, and the Kingdom of God glorified.


  1. Great post!! And I'm sorry about Sobe and her puppies :(

  2. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. The loss of a furry family member can be incredibly profound, after all they lived in your home and ate from your table - not to mention the love and affection you shared. I love this post. I love how you affirm that our trials are not punishment, but undergone for the glory of the Lord (and our own refinement - if I may be so bold as to add that).

    Today our teacher talked of many things, but he also touched on John 9:1-5 (copied here from an online NIV) - 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
    3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

    We as the world seem to think every bad thing is for us, or because of us. Yet, as John and Job teach this is not the case. It is for the glory of the Lord.


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