I want to share with you some reflections on Job – his story, his book. You know his book deals with loss and grief and suffering and, finally, meaning – which gives comfort in his case. Did you know that this book, Job, is the oldest one of the Bible? I think it’s interesting that loss and grief are the topics that were dealt with first in the Scriptures. And at this point in human history, we’re still dealing with them, trying to make sense, to find the key so that all the pieces of life will fit together in a way that answers all our questions. That thought presupposes that there IS a key. We’ll see. The book is nearly in the center of our Bibles. The topics certainly are at the center of your (if you’re reading this blog) minds and hearts since the death of your child.
The first thing I observe is that the writer identifies Job as a righteous man (Job 1:1). Since I believe God is responsible for each and every word that appears in the Bible, even though they come from the pens of various men, then it is God who identifies Job as righteous. That implies that bad things can happen to good people. Not every tragedy is perpetrated against a person who is evil, sinful, or bad. There just is not a one-to-one correlation between our acts and what we receive from God or the universe. You can’t say that because I sinned then this happened to my child. Oh, and neither can anyone else say that. You may have been accused, like Job is (we’ll see that later), but that accusation has no truth to stand on. Jesus says the same thing in John 9 when the people ask Him why the man was born blind, was it because of his sin or his parents’? Jesus says, neither! Jesus said it happened so that some aspect of the glory of God might be revealed. God has reasons other that just plain punishment when He plans things.
God has His reasons for you too. He has plans to bring His glory out of this loss. He plans to show you His glory through the kindness of friends, through His words as they bring comfort to you, through music and creation and the gentle sounds of a babbling brook. He plans to show forth His glory through you as others see you being comforted in Him.
The bottom line for this is that it’s not your fault. And the Lord is in control. (I’ll discuss that next time in more detail.) The Lord, the One who loves you so much He died for you, is superintending your story. Let peace and patience lead you through your grief because there is comfort and glory down the road.