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Sipping on a freshly brewed coffee while immersing his soul in the stunning spectacle of the nearby mountain range; it was the way Job started most every day. His family was healthy, business was booming, life was good. However, that morning lurking neath the surface was an uneasiness. His adult children were holding another party—he worried what could ensue.

Returning to refill his coffee, he noticed one of his servants rushing toward him, panting for his breath, he blurted out:

"The oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing in the field next to us when Sabeans attacked. They stole the animals and killed the field hands. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened. “While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Bolts of lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and fried them—burned them to a crisp. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Chaldeans coming from three directions raided the camels and massacred the camel drivers. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened. “While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Your children were having a party...a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on them, and they died. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened”

(Job 1:14-19 MES)

Such a tale borders on bizarre. Ten adult children along with numerous employees tragically killed, and his business obliterated. Who among us could bear the news of such incredible loss in such a brief span of time?

If this is not enough, a few verses further along we discover,

Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”

(Job 2:7-10a ESV)

And to add insult to injury, his best friends came to visit him. They sat with him in silence for seven days, after which they each took turns accusing him of injustice, pride and violating God’s holy standards. During his darkest hours the Bible says, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 10b ESV). Instead, he affirmed his confidence in God. Here are just a few of his astounding statements:

  • Job 33:4 –The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

  • Job 10:11-12 –You clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.

  • Job 13:15a –Though he slays me, I will hope in him.

  • Job 19:26 –And after my skin has been destroyed, in my flesh I shall see God.

  • Job 27:3-4 –As long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit.

I have a friend who experienced tremendous losses. His youngest daughter died from Neuroblastoma at the tender age of twenty- eight months. A few years later, he and his wife stood by the side of their eldest daughter and son-in-law as they cuddled their precious still- born daughter. Two years later his wife went to be with Jesus following a yearlong battle with cancer. And if that is not enough for any man to endure, four years afterward he held his precious grandson in his arms while standing beside the coffins of his daughter, his son-in- law and grandson—brother to the one he held in his arms—all victims of a tragic motor vehicle accident.

Today Ron is an encourager, he possesses incredible faith in God. He has devoted his life to raising his grandson, serving God and others. This is possible because of the choices Ron made. He chose to live. He chose joy. He chose to lean into God. He chose to love.

C. S. Lewis said, “Every time you make a choice, you are turning your soul, the part that choses, into something a little different than it was before. Taking your life as whole, with all your innumerable decisions, you are slowly turning your soul either into a heavenly creature, or into a hellish creature.”

Turn your heart toward your heavenly father...

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