And he said, naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
You cannot live contentedly or die serenely if you do not know with certainty where you came from, why you are here on earth and where you are going when you die. Knowing the answers to these questions intellectually will not resolve the confusion and pain of losing all your property and all your ten children on the same day as Job experienced. Job had wisdom and lived his life based on the truth he knew about life.
What did he know? Created by God. Brought into this world without a dime in his hand (Bwanhot in Kagoro language means “empty handed” – you came into the world empty handed). God gave him all the wealth and family he had. God took away what He gave him without prejudice. Knowing these facts in his heart and not just intellectually, Job was able to praise the Lord despite his plight.
When we struggle to accept painful experiences God allows in our lives, it may be that we do not have the right answers to the questions outlined above or that we only know the answers intellectually and not necessarily from our hearts. How we respond to God in our pain and loss is the litmus test of our knowledge and relationship with God.
Job declared: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him”. Job 13:15. Can I say that also?
Author: Rev. Sunday Bwanhot
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago and ECWA USA DCC Chairman.