Mother-daughter walks. I love these. Sharing. Solving. Scheming.
We pass stately pines interrupted by the occasional aspen while deep in a discussion about various struggles and trials. Suddenly, however, my mind bumps into a tree-sized thought.
This man. Why hadn't I thought of him before? He certainly experienced trials dished out with a giant serving spoon.
Our conversation becomes rather one-sided as I cogitate upon the ramifications of this century-old story.
His name was Job.
Grabbing my Bible immediately upon returning inside, I flip to the book with the same name. My attention is riveted as I read through chapter one and reach the last verses. Wait a second here. Re-read.
What's this that Job does? What's this that he says? Hasn't he just been stripped of family, fame and fortune in a matter of hours?
He falls down, worships and blesses the Lord.
Immediate shame. Is this life of gratitude my automatic response to suffering and trial?
Another meeting in heaven is underway, and Satan appears with devilish insatisfaction written all over his face.
I can just hear the fatherly pride in the voice of God as he mentions the faithfulness of Job.
"Skin for skin," Satan declares. "Touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"
Did God just give assent to suffering? It's hard to read it otherwise. Sometimes He allows trials and pain to obscure our pathway, yet always for a reason—that we may vindicate His character.
Job's trials are painfully personal now. Health challenges. Interesting.
Yet how does God's servant respond once again? He simply does his best to alleviate the problem and gives thanks for God's gifts regardless of whether they appear as such.
Suddenly I see this story in a different light. I see my own life, my own trials in a different way…
These things that I face are not just trials.
This is a controversy. God's reputation is at stake.
Could it be that my struggles are actually part of a test to vindicate God's character?
And if I fail to trust, if I allow faith to falter, isn't His name immediately shamed?
I want His character to be vindicated.
What will my life testify?