this morning. 7:40 am.
text message from ashley: “good morning daddy! i love you!”
i sure do miss my kids.
i’ve been an empty nester for three weeks now, and i am still getting adjusted. after all, for the past 20 years, my prevailing identity has been as a dad. pastor, yes. husband, yes. starbucks-regular and all that, yes.
but dad has dominated.
it’s strange. and painful.
i found myself thinking of Job yesterday as i ran. with God’s permission, satan completely devastated Job in a single afternoon. not only did he wipe out his flocks and herds, he killed all ten of his kids at once! certainly Job derived much of his identity as a dad as well. and in a moment, it was all gone.
i ran back home to read the story. found some key points i need to remember…
1. Job’s initial and immediate response to the news that all of his kids were dead was Worship!
1:20 – then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.
2. Job didn’t blame or curse God. verse 22: in all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job was well aware – as we all should be – that God is sovereign and ultimately in control of everything. and yet, Job did not attack God or call him out. instead, he recognized that everything he has ever had is a gift from God:
the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (v. 21)
3. Job spoke truth to his wife. after being attacked yet again by satan with sickness and sores, while sitting in ashes, Job’s angry and grieving wife encouraged him to curse God and die. i used to think this lady was worthless, but have come to realize that she is simply a loving and grieving wife and mom. but even so, Job takes the spiritual lead – the role of every godly husband – and reminds her:
shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil? (2.10)
we lose things as we go through life. kids off to college is minor compared to what others have lost: health, meaning, direction, a job, a marriage, a parent, a child… how do you respond when you lose something that matters to you, something from which you derive your identity?
how do you address God?
thanks, Job, for your perseverance, and for the reminder that our identity in Christ is where it’s really at, and that God is sovereign over all things, all people, all events, all losses.