We all experience suffering in this life. Some more than others. But few people experience something as devastating as losing their entire family. Yet, this is what happens to Job. All of his children are killed in one day.
I only know one person who lost her entire family.
My grandma enjoyed being a wife and a mom throughout her twenties. But when her son was eleven years old, he drowned while swimming in a river. Then a short while later, her husband was killed in a railroad accident.
My grandma’s entire family was taken from her — first her only child, then her husband.
Throughout her thirties, she worked by cleaning houses. Then she met my grandpa, and they got married when she was nearly forty years old. Soon thereafter, my grandma gave birth to my dad and then a little girl.
At this point, there should be a “happily ever after.” But when my grandma’s daughter was three years old, her tiny little girl died of Leukemia.
This has never made any sense to me. Hadn’t my grandma already suffered enough?
My grandma endured terrible suffering, but all I can remember is an elderly woman who continued to praise God to the very end of her 94 years of life.
Job endured terrible suffering too. It was a test to see how he would respond. And Scripture tells us that in all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing (Job 1:22).
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. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.’ (Job 2:3)
Can you imagine the God of the universe speaking these words about you?
There is no one on earth like her. She is blameless and upright. She still maintains her integrity.
Maintaining integrity in the face of severe adversity. This is what Job is about. It’s what I want my life to be about too.
While I pray I never have to face the kind of suffering my grandma did, or the kind Job did, I do pray that I will never stopping praising God, and giving thanks, no matter the circumstances.
No matter the circumstances.
Have you ever known someone who exhibited
a heart of thanksgiving despite terrible suffering?