Monday, April 13, 2015

When Trials Touch Those We Love

Dear Friends,

Consider Job.  There came a day when Job awoke to a world gone mad, his world.  He would never be the same again.  God had directed Satan to contemplate Job’s life and behavior.  The Lord had boasted about His servant: “There is no one on earth like him” (Job 1:8). 

Job’s worst nightmare happened all in a day.  It was a daymare.  It had to have been a Monday!  All in a day he lost his cattle and all his wealth.  He and his flocks became victims of violence of terrorism.  A storm hit, the lightning striking Job’s animals and servants and burning up his barns and cattle sheds.  But worst of all, a tornado hit the house where his ten children were having a party, and his seven sons and three daughters died—all in a day! (Job 1:13-19).

The “everything that Satan was permitted to touch included Job’s precious children.  Possessions are one thing, but people are quite another—especially people whom we love very much.  As Henry Gariepy says in his excellent book about Job, Portraits of Perseverance:

We will not only have our own problems—the problems of those we love and care for and for whom we have such high hopes and dreams, hit us with full force as well.  When tragedy strikes them, the quakes in their lives are registered on the Richter Scale of our own hearts.

I know that in my own experience I do a halfway decent job of trusting the Lord until something touches one of our children.  In a way, our children are my Achilles heel, and Satan knows it!  I have always worried about the kids.  When they were little, I worried that they would fall into the washing machine and drown.  When they were teenagers, I worried about the friendships they made.  When they went away to college, I worried about the life partners they would choose.  When none of my worries materialized (and it has been said that 90 percent of our worries and fears never do), I began to worry all over again about their children falling into the washing machine and drowning—and so on!  Like Job, I pray fervently for them, but I have seldom been free from the “dread” Job experienced and testifies to in chapter 3:25-26.  Only recently has God released me from this fear.  Partly, the acceptance of the fact that trouble, in some measure, will come, has helped.  But more important, peace has grown out of the conviction that when, not if trouble comes, God will Himself be all that my children need in order to cope.


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor 
Just Between Us Magazine

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this encouragement, Jill.

    As a tribal missionary in SE Asia for over 20 years, my four children have always been my "fear factor".

    Like you, I've had to learn (and re-learn, and re-learn ...) that there is risk in life no matter where we live. A stateside school is not necessarily any safer than a remote jungle village!

    But moreso, is my continuing life journey that simply, He is trustworthy no matter what.