The last two daily readings from Mass have centered on Job and the constant struggles that he goes through. It highlights particularly how he reacted to losing his whole family, animals, livelihood and ultimately himself getting sick. He never once blamed God but he did have moments where he wondered why he was even born and the purpose of his life.
When he was first struck with the deaths of his children, loss of his animals and the destruction of his livelihood – he said something that still holds significant meaning. He said “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD”. He understood that we come into this world completely helpless and are naked. This can be taken literally as naked or we can look at it figuratively. When we come into this world we have absolutely nothing but what God created us with; hence being naked. Through death we are made naked again because we enter into eternity with nothing but what God created us with.
Let that sit for a minute and process it. When we are born we have the body that God created specifically for us. When we die, we have the soul that God has created specifically for us. We don’t have money, cars, phones, jewels, etc. We have nothing but what God has given us, thus we are naked. We can look at it as if the Lord has given us a loan on our body. We are not the owners of our body, God us the ultimate owner. It is our job to take care of it, keep it clean from sin and follow the rules that God has set forth. At any moment God can call His loan back. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away.
One of the most pertinent parts of that is when he says Blessed be the name of the Lord. He still blesses God even though he is going through these hardships and he lost his children. This is something we should all do when going through a tragic time, bless the name of the Lord. God didn’t have to give us all life but He did, He didn’t have to die for our sins but He did. We sometimes take for granted everything that God has given us and expect it to always be ours when in reality it was never ours to begin with. The lives of our loved ones are not ours nor is it theirs, they and we belong to the Lord. That is why loss can sometimes be so crippling and hard to understand. God has a purpose for everything that happens and that purpose could be to help us become better people. Now, we have to remember that while God controls everything He also allows humans to pick their own path and He allows for nature to take its course. It’s not God’s will for someone to have a heart attack, rather it’s His will that nature and human choices take front and center. It could have been that the person’s heart was just weak or they ate the wrong foods and didn’t have a healthy lifestyle.
When more occurrences happen to Job, he turns the focus on himself and says “Perish the day on which I was born”, he then goes on to wonder why he was even born. Again, the focus in purely on his self and not directed towards God. He had a moment where he was feeling sorry for himself because of all the bad stuff that was happening to him. We all have periods of time in our life where a tragedy has occurred and it seems life one thing after another is going wrong. It can be frustrating, mind boggling and quite saddening but one thing we must never do is lose our faith. We should never blame God and turn our backs on Him. We count our blessings, raise our heads to God and say anything through you is possible
To you I raise my hands in praise,
Even if I feel pain and loss today.
I want your strength to get me through,
I will never lose my faith in you.
You are my love, my life and father,
I will stay strong through you and will not falter.