Before the COVID-19 crisis, we had been studying the book of Job in our Sunday adult Bible study. Job’s story is one of tragedy. In the span of a few minutes, he learns that all of his wealth is gone. His thousands of sheep, camels, donkeys, and oxen are all stolen or destroyed. Then, worst of all, he learns his ten children have all been killed in a violent windstorm.
What’s beyond comprehension is Job’s response to this. He tears his robe and shaves his head (typical signs of grief in his culture), then bows down to the ground in worship and says, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
These days it feels like a lot has been taken away from us. Our workplaces have been taken away. Our ability to sit and eat breakfast at Diggers or Min’s Kitchen is gone. Our ability to send our kids to school or preschool has been taken away. Tomorrow we will not gather in person for worship. This might be the first Sunday in the 80-year history of First Lutheran that this happens.
Perhaps what Job’s story can teach us is that all these things that have now been taken away were gifts from God, gifts that He gave freely, gifts that we perhaps didn’t recognize as gifts.
It’s appropriate to grieve the loss of these things. But we must also remember Job’s words: “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” No matter what is given or taken away, we continue to bless God’s name. Though we can’t meet in person, we will still bless the Lord’s name on Sundays through our live stream worship at flcconcord.org/live.
And we will also remember that Job’s story didn’t end with everything being taken away, but that everything that was taken away was restored to him, doubled even. My prayer is that the Lord would restore our fortunes as we continue to bless His name through this time of things being taken away.
God’s blessings on your day. Keep the faith.