A Thousand Camels?

Then Job replied to the LORD: I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, “Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?” Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wondrous for me to know. You said, “Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform me.” I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.

Job 42:1-6

After the death of a spouse, what becomes the goal in grief? To get better…somehow? To stop being sad? To get remarried? These suggestions may be what a person wants for themselves, but what about God? Where does He want us to land when sorrows are so great?

I am wrestling with a few spiritual goals. Contentment is one that rattles around my brain. Being content with certain aspects of my new life is certainly a worthy characteristic to put on and strive toward. But, maybe this contentment is more of a by-product of something deeper?

Looking at Job 42, we see the results of Job’s major struggle with pain and loss…and his discussions with God. Job comes to a place of total surrender. After the intense discussions with friends, the painful circumstances experienced, and the questioning of God, Job comes to a place of authentic surrender before God.

God’s plan will not be thwarted. God can, and will, do anything. No person is exempt from pain. Suffering is part of the human existence. Job acknowledges, “God, you can do anything.” This is the fact. Surrender not only agrees with this fact of God’s omnipotence, but voluntarily lays oneself at His feet…as “dust and ashes.”

It is in the suffering that we see God. I have an entirely different view of my Savior. I can echo Job’s statement to the Lord, “Now my eyes have seen You.” The view becomes clearer when I realize that His purposes and plan do not withhold great suffering…and comfort. It is these purposes of His that I willingly surrender to, no matter the cost.

Job is not without emotional needs, even in his state of surrender. In verse 11, of chapter 42, Job’s brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his home, had dinner and comforted him in his troubles and adversity. Job still needed emotional support. Job hurt, he missed those he lost…he mourned the life he had no more.

God restored Job in a great way. He possessed more than ever (thousands of camels!), had a large family, and lived into old age. I have to believe that Job was not only happy, but content. Content in his existence before a great God who provided and cared for him. Content is the fact that he had surrendered his life to the One who loved him the most.

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