Before my brother had married his wife, she went through several tragedies in a very short period of time. Her father died, mother died, and then her stepmother committed suicide. This would test the mettle of any human, and she fell into a depression. She turned to drugs, alcohol, and was in a destructive relationship that she couldn’t seem to get out of. God did not abandon her, and she thanks my brother for saving her life. She is one of the strongest people I have ever met, and if you met her, you would never think that she had gone through such a dark period in her life.
Satan is real. The temptation of sin bombards us, and with the ease of access that we have in the technologically advanced world that we live in, most of these sins are just a click or phone call away. Satan is lurking, ready to pounce when we least expect it, like a lion stalking a lamb. In these verses, God boasts of Job’s excellence, and Satan vows to show God that Job will curse him when pushed to his limits. Poor Job! A good man made to suffer, a wandering lamb for the prowling Satan.
I often like to make comparisons between God and us and any parent with their child. For any parents, think of how you treat your children. Sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you act selfishly, sometimes you are too proud or hurt to do what you know is the right thing. Your children will still love you and understand and will be OK. Consider this: God is perfect. He never makes these mistakes. EVER. Think how much better all of us will be with Him as our Father.
I am a firm believer of good things happening to good people. What you reap is what you sow; if you sow good things, it will grow more good things; so bad, more bad things. However, what happens when bad things happen to good people?
One of the best person I have ever known was also my oldest friend. We knew each other since we were babies, growing up together with our families. He was good at everything; he was the captain of our high school soccer, baseball, and basketball team. He was the class president and valedictorian of our school. He didn’t drink, smoke, or curse. He was a good Catholic boy that volunteered always. He eventually went to and graduated from Harvard, finishing at the very top of his class. Everyone in our hometown knew of and were proud him.
One day, he slipped and fell off of a balcony in a freak accident and died. That was it. We were all devastated; his family was unsure how to process the information, let alone move on without him. It left us all wondering: Why God? Why?
At the beginning of Job, it sets the tone for what is soon to come. He was not just a good man; he was a perfect man. He loved God, loved his family, and even asked for forgiveness on his family’s behalf. Like my friend, God should reward him for his behavior…right?
We have sacrifices that we need to make to, as we choose to follow Christ. There are many worldly activities we have to give up, as they are not in line with what God has ordained us to do. Sometimes we have to leave certain friendships or relationships because they end up trying to pull us away from Christ. The joy in these sacrifices is that God always acknowledges them and they won’t go unrewarded.
Anxiety can set in slowly, or wash over you in one fell swoop; but either way, it can leave you feeling rudderless and alone. For some, it’s a feeling of intense panic and fear. Our chest constricts, our breathing grows rapid, and our ability to focus on anything but whatever’s worrying us becomes a nearly impossible feat. For others, it’s a subtle, yet constant foreboding — of the future, of the present, or of something we can’t quite put our finger on. If you’re feeling alone in your internal panic, take comfort in the fact that you’re not. Far from it, actually: Some 40 million Americans live with anxiety each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American, and it’s far more prevalent in women than men. When the world feels like it’s spinning out of control, reciting a prayer or contemplative mantra can remind you to come back to your center, let go of the worry that’s gripping you, and simply let life take over. These verses will offer just that, in the moments you need them most.
Dear Father, I am so grateful and fortunate that You love me. Thank you for being a wonderful guide for me in all of my relationships, knowing full well how to act to any person that I come in contact with in any situation. I come before You in prayer, asking that You will help me to be similar to You as a parent, spouse, friend, colleague, and even as a stranger. I pray that I can positively affect everyone and everything around me, as You most certainly have. Amen.