I have always understood that everything I have belongs to God. Nothing I own is mine. My home, my car, money, and family, all belong to Him. Each is a gift entrusted to me by God and I accept that each is His to give or take away. At least I thought I did until I read the story of Job once again.
It was a particularly hard day. I was struggling with doubt and questioning God’s purpose for things happening in my life. The particular story of Job has often served as a reminder on numerous occasions as to God’s faithfulness in times of pain and discouragement. I decided to read it again and as I read, it was not that I found something new in the story, but instead God showed me something new. He used the story of Job to convict me and spoke to my heart saying, “My daughter when it just doesn’t make sense, reach for ME, trust ME.”
Feeling empty from my own loss, I looked at Job. He lost everything. Everything he owned was gone, including all ten of his children. As I reread Job’s story, something triggered a chain of thoughts that led me to a better understanding of God’s work in my own life. Job knew he came into this world with nothing. He knew that all he had belonged to God. God chose to give and to take away. Though all he had was gone, Job’s choice was to praise and trust God no matter what happened.
Unbeknownst to Job, the story begins with a heavenly conversation in the heavens between God and Satan. A conversation in which God pointed out His upright servant Job while Satan refuted he was only that way because he had everything he wanted. God gave Satan permission to test Job. He told Satan that everything Job had was in Satan’s hands to do with has he chose, but on the man himself, he was not to lay a finger. God allows testing but not without setting the parameters first. He has the final say. As the reader, we can see the big picture. We have insight into God’s plan but not Job. He is going about his daily life clueless as to what is about to transpire. We too are unaware of the heavenly conversations taking place but they do. Moments of testing and opportunities to trust leave us left in the dark as to what God’s plan is for our lives. Like Job, we can be confident of the greater picture and know there is a plan and a reason.
God allowed Satan to enter into my life through circumstances and allowed evil to remove my children from me. God did not remove them, but He allowed their removal for His greater purpose because He knew what I needed. Wanting nothing more than to love God with every fiber of my being, He knew something stood in the way that I didn’t. He knew I held something back that prevented complete surrender to Him. So much time was spent proclaiming my trust in Him in every circumstance, but was it real? He knew I needed to be refined.
Fooling ourselves is easy and it is even easier to fool those around us but we cannot fool God. He knows those things that take His place in our lives. When we accept His call, we have to allow Him room to clean house and remove the things that take precedence over Him. He waits for an invitation. He longs to examine our hearts. It can be heart breaking, but total surrender and commitment to God means being completely willing to let go of everything, trusting Him fully though we may not understand.
I’ve always done my best to teach my children Truth. I have taught them of God’s faithfulness, but I now have a new job, an additional lesson to teach. When the questioning begins as to why things are happening or why people are doing bad things, my answer is simple. We are going to choose to trust God’s perfect plan and follow where He leads because He is faithful in all things. It is not up to me to know the plan. It is only my place to trust.