I found this wonderful summary of the story of Job. I feel like I, too, am being tested right now in so many ways in my life. Ways that have been hurtful. Ways that have been harsh and unfair. Ways that I've had no control over.
My strength has been tested and many of my foundations have been shaken, but I'm resolved through my faith in God to see them through because I know God has a plan for me, my wife, and my family.
That's sometimes hard to see and understand, but I have faith. All the other "finer" things of my life can be threatened and taken away, but I still have my faith and love for my God. Away from me Satan.
One of the greatest inspirations to me of late has been our driver in Chicago named M. M once was a very wealthy man. He has wonderful children and because of my friendship with him, I have an open-ended welcome in his home.
While I was in Chicago two weeks ago, M shared with me his story. His career led him to be a lead mechanical engineer in a large Chicago firm. M. is a very smart man. As a side job, he ran one of the more successful car services in Chicago with many limos, cars, etc. To further extend himself, he opened a business in Mexico with a friend who he said had come to his house to dine with his family for years. They were good friends.
But M made a mistake that cost him millions of dollars. He opened a business in Mexico under his friends' name to ease with operations in that country. There was nothing written down on paper anywhere tying M. to the company. Apparently, that's the way it's done in Mexico quite often. A native opens the business because the corrupt government there is harsh to foreigners and "nicer" to nationals.
A few months after opening, M's friend sold the business from out underneath him without him knowing it. He had to call relatives back here in the states to get money to fly the family all home because even the set aside he and his partner had of $25,000 was taken, too, by the partner.
But here is where I draw my inspiration from. M told me, "I'm not angry at him. I have forgiven him. It does me little good to be angry with this man. For I have peace with it. I have asked God for forgiveness of this man. He must deal with God's wrath someday, not me. And from that, I know that all is going to be okay."
And M means it. I don't know if he would ever let the man back into his home for a weekend dinner, or join them for a wedding of one of the children or a graduation, but something tells me if the man were to show at M's door starving, downtrodden and shirtless, M. would still serve him in the way God would ask all of us to do so. For again, the sins waged against us here on earth will be settled between God and their offenders in time.
Now M is a driver in someone else's company because his is gone. He's
retired from the mechanical engineering job. And his daughters ask him
from time-to-time, "Daddy, didn't we used to be rich?"
He says his dad
tells him, "Son, I wasted $400,000 for you to be an engineer. You used
to be high up in the company. You used to own your own limo company.
Now you've gone from the top of that company to being one of the
drivers. What has happened to you, my son?"
How heavy a thought must that be to come from your father? And yet M. prevails.
And now the older story of Job:
In ancient times, east of Palestine, there lived a righteous man by the name of Job. He was a just and good man, who always strove to please God throughout his life. The Lord rewarded him for his piety with great wealth. He had many hundreds of large and thousands of small cattle. His large and close family of seven sons and three daughters comforted him.
But the Devil was jealous of Job. He began to vilify him before God, "Doth Job fear God for nothing?… But put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy face." Then God, in order to reveal to all how faithful Job was to Him and in order to teach people patience in their sufferings, permitted the Devil to take away all of Job’s possessions. One day robbers came and drove away all his cattle, slew his servants, and a terrible tornado from the desert destroyed the house in which Job’s children had gathered together, killing them all. Job not only did not complain against God, but he said, "God gave, and God hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."
The Devil, put to shame, was not satisfied with this. Again he began to slander Job, "All a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth Thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh (that is, strike him down with disease), and he will curse Thee to Thy face." God permitted the Devil to deprive Job even of his health, and Job was stricken with the most terrible disease — leprosy. Then even his wife began to persuade him to complain against God. His friends, instead of consolation, only further grieved the innocent sufferer with their unjust suspicions. But Job remained firm, did not lose hope in the mercy of God and only begged the Lord to testify that he was suffering in innocence.
In his discourse with his friends, Job prophesied about the Redeemer and of the future resurrection: I know that my Redeemer liveth and on the last day He shall raise from the dust this my corrupted skin, and in my flesh I shall see God. I shall see Him myself; mine eyes, and not the eyes of another, shall behold Him (Job 19:25-27, Septuagint).
After this, God, having shown to all the example of devotion and long-suffering in His servant Job, appeared Himself and commanded his friends, who had regarded Job as a great sinner, to ask for prayers from him for themselves. God rewarded His faithful servant. Job regained his health. He had seven more sons and three daughters, gained back twice as much cattle as he had before, and lived another one hundred and forty years in honor, quietly, piously and happily.
The story of long-suffering Job teaches us that God sends misfortunes not just for sins, but that sometimes God sends misfortunes even to the righteous for an even greater confirmation in goodness, for the shaming of the Devil, and for the glorification of the righteousness of God. The history of the life of Job also reveals to us that earthly welfare does not always accompany a virtuous life for men and teaches us also to be sympathetic to those in misfortune. Job, by his innocent sufferings and patience, foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Christ.