Then he fell to the ground in worship and 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 (Job 1:20-21 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Life rarely turns out the way we want it to, does it? I grew up in a shack on the edge of a little town in Texas. In the winter, we stuffed newspaper between the boards in our walls to keep the cold air out. I always volunteered to sweep the floors because you could simply sweep the dirt through the cracks in the floor.
I can remember Mama saying, “We may be poor, but we can always afford a bar of soap.” Our house was always clean and so were we. I didn’t understand why my mother had to battle cancer for 20 years. It was her greatest fear, and it took her life.
Over the years, there are so many stories in my life and in the lives of my friends and family members for which I would have written an entirely different ending.
I don’t understand why my husband has had over 50 heart procedures. Why does Sara have so many serious illnesses? Bob is a stellar Christian, but he has Multiple Sclerosis and is slowly dying. I don’t like it. I just don’t get it.
You may be offended by my next statement. If I am brutally honest, I sometimes think bad things should happen to bad people and good things should happen to good people.
It’s only fair, right? You and I both know that life is not fair and that our human logic is a shallow substitute for God’s sovereignty.
We are broken people living in a broken world. Bad things do happen to good people while those who mock God seem to prosper.
“Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil’” (Job 1:8, NIV).
Stop! Don’t miss this truth! Satan did not ask permission to torture Job. God pointed Job out to Satan! What? God was so sure of Job’s response to anything Satan would throw at him that he volunteered Job – without asking him.
“Does Job fear God for nothing? Satan asked. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? … But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face. The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger’” (Job 1:9-12, NIV).
Thanks to Satan, Job went from having vast wealth to great poverty, losing everything he and his wife had, including their ten children. Job’s wife begged her husband to turn away from and curse God – but Job refused.
“Then he fell to the ground in worship and 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” (Job 1:20-21 NIV).
Job was an extraordinary man, husband, father, and leader who served God faithfully. His faithfulness to God in prosperity was a powerful testimony, but His faithfulness to God in the face of death, pain and despair was even more persuasive.
Job remained true to God – even when he did not understand why God would let him endure such suffering. God was pleased with Job and rewarded him for his faithfulness.
“The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first” (Job 42:11 NIV).
We may not understand God’s process, but we can always trust His heart. One day, all of our question marks will be yanked into exclamation points … and we will finally get it. Until then, we walk by faith and not by sight.
Father, please forgive me when I don’t respond to a trial in the right way. Sometimes I get so angry with You, Lord. You could have prevented this pain. I don’t understand why you didn’t. But this I do know. You love me. And You have a great plan for my life. I choose to follow You – no matter what. I love You.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How did you respond to your last trial? What do you think God was trying to teach you through that trial?
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There are many things I don’t understand. I have days I have to just have to block it all out. I repeat myself over and over. I get mad at God. I look around and see God answering other peoples situations like mine and can’t understand why he doesn’t answer my prayer. I had a friend tell me don’t stop praying I know God loves us unconditionally and hears each prayer. I will just have to keep on praying and keep my faith. I’m asking for prayers for my son with the addiction. I think sometimes if it were just me that it effected but it has effected the whole family.
Blessings to all
Dear Sheila, maybe we can pray for each other! I’m right there with you, girl, so I think there’s a lot more out there that feel the same way. One verse that I’ve been holding on to is Psalm 112:7 He will have no fear of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting the LORD. My son also has several addictions – been praying for him for over 22 years. Other caring sisters will lift us up in this, my friend.
Sheila and Joy,
The power of a praying Mama is so powerful. It’s difficult to be patient, and walk in faith when our prayers go unanswered. God hears our cry but he tells us to have faith and trust in him to work it out. He loves our children more than we can ever love them,hard to understand but it’s truth.
Tou see I too have a son and a daughter who have battled addiction. I prayed for my children for over 25 yrs.only to be disappointed more times than I can count. Just recently God showed me his power and his grace. In the grand scheme of it all this victory let me know that Our God is greater than what is in the world.
Don’t ever stop praying, and look for even the smallest victories and stand firm with a grateful heart for God’s grace upon our family.My adult children are a work in progress for sure but God reassures me everyday that he is in control!
Blessings to you and your family, there is light at the end of the long cold dark tunnel. This light will guide,and encourage us along the way. Never lose hope, I can testify to the power of prayer for our families. Debbie
I get so excited when I see your posts on the GIF site. I love that you have the ability to speak to the challenges this life on earth presents. I no longer have the need to understand what God is doing in the background of my life. I’m not at a point where I can say I walk by faith and not by sight all of the time. I do know I can’t imagine life on earth without God’s guidance.
Thank you for being a loyal servant and sharing your heart with us. I may never have an opportunity to meet you in person in this life but I do believe I will meet you in heaven.
Blessings to you, your family, and the work you do to provide hope through the word of God.
Good Morning GIG’s!
It seems we are all being tested, but God’s words remain true!!
I read passages from Job this am and his story seems to be all of our stories, in one way or another. Even with all the complaints (yes, his complaints were justified); God stood firm and showed Job that HE was there! Praise God, for hanging in there with us, when we all go off the rails with our frustrated prayers!
I’m hanging on the promise of Psalm 130:5, today…”I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.”
Thanks, Mary for your inspired writings!
I can relate to ALL my sisters are saying this am! Going through a very rough spot today, my husband still having issues from cancer surgery eight years ago and my adult daughter struggling with issues relating to continued drug abuse. She’s at the point now where it’s hard to tell if it’s drugs or more serious health problems. I’m just depending on God and His promise to never leave or forsake us. I’m praying for each one of you and ask your prayers for my family and me.
Sheila, I hear ya! So many things in this life I don’t understand. But God reminds me that when I don’t understand I just need to trust Him and walk by faith – not by sight. And that is hard! But it is in the “hard” that I grow the most. Know we are praying for your son. Addiction is a beast! Don’t give up!!!!
Okay, ladies, can I just say how much I love and appreciate each one of you? I am absolutely blown away by the way you love each other – people you do not know and yet love – and by the way you minister to each other. So blessed to be part of this group. Praying for each one of you!