Unending Love

Read Job 42: the ending of Job when he prays for his friends and then his fortunes are restored.

And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 (NRSV)

Larry Dowell is from North Carolina. Not long after he turned 40, his health started going down-hill. He experienced loss of appetite, sleeplessness, weight loss, and irrational thinking. His marriage was in trouble, and their oldest child was heading to college. He had always been able to fix most things fairly easily, but this was different. During his darkest moments his thoughts turned to Job and the suffering he endured. Job didn't rebuke God but held on to his faith. In the end, all was restored to him.

During the depth of his suffering, Job's story gave him hope that he too would come through this valley. Finally, after a couple of months and still suffering from weight loss and sleeplessness, Larry was hospitalized. The diagnosis was severe clinical depression. The pain Larry felt both physically and emotionally was extreme. But with the right medication and a caring medical team, he started improving. His appetite returned and he slept well. After 10 days in the hospital he went home.

The story of Job's suffering and restoration were key parts of his own recovery. Though at times it may feel as if God has abandoned us, if we hold on to our faith, God's love will carry us through the darkest of days. It has been 30 years since Larry was in the hospital, and every day he gives thanks for the story of Job and how he never turned away from God's unending love. May we too remember Job when we are going thru a tough time; that God will be there to help pull us thru.

Prayer: Dear Lord, through our darkest and brightest days we give thanks for your unending love for us, in Jesus' name, amen.

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