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Grief and Worship

And the Lord replied to Satan, "You may do anything you like with his wealth, but don't harm him physically."

So Satan went away; and sure enough, not long afterwards when Job's sons and daughter were dining at the oldest brother's house, tragedy struck.

A messenger rushed to Job's home with this news: "your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us, drove away the animals and killed all the farmhands except me. I am the only one left."

While this messenger was still speaking, another arrived with more bad news: "The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the herdsmen, and I alone have escaped to tell you."

Before this man finished, still another messenger rushed in: Three bands of Chaldeans have driven off your camels and killed your servants, and I alone have escaped to tell you."

As he was still speaking, another arrived to say, "Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother's home, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert, and engulfed the house so that the roof fell in on them and all are dead; and I alone escaped to tell you.

Then Job stood up and tore his robe in grief and fell down upon the ground before God. I came naked from my mother's womb," he said, "and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

In all of this, Job did not sin or revile God. Job 2: 12-22 (TLB)

Lynnette Tortorich lives in Wisconsin. The entire two and a half years of her son's life have been filled with health problems. They have dealt with a heart that stopped beating, lungs that stopped breathing, and a body that stopped growing. They have seen him struggle to crawl, walk, and talk. Now, they are in the middle of more evaluations. Lynnette can relate to the difficulties Job faced.

However, there is one part of Job's experience that Lynnette does not understand. When his property was stolen, servants murdered, and children killed, Job grieved and then worshiped. Needless to say, worship is not at the top of Lynnette's mind when the doctor calls. Heartbreak? of course. Anger? Usually. Bitterness? Sometimes. Never worship.

But what if it were? When her son inevitably receives his next diagnosis, what if her initial moments of grief could be followed by worship? At some of the worst moments of her life, what if she turned to God? Maybe that could make all the difference, helping to comfort heartbreak, turn anger to peace, and transform bitterness into hope.

God never promises an easy life. We all nod along when the pastor says this, but maybe it's time for Lynnette (and us) to really start accepting it. If she wakes up every day and worships God, then maybe, just maybe, the bad days won't feel so bad.

Prayer: O Lord, help us to worship you today no matter what our days may bring. Help us to take both the good and the bad and turn it over to you, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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