April 6, 2017
READ: Job 4:12-15
Fear gripped me, and my bones trembled (v.14).
At the outset of World War II, a man—who would eventually rescue 669 children from Nazi slaughter—helped two Jewish boys secure passage on a train escaping Czechoslovakia. After the war, the boys received a final letter from their parents who had died in a concentration camp.
Here are a few lines: The time has therefore come . . . for us to ask you to become good men. . . . You took a piece of your poor parents’ hearts with you. . . . [You have heard] about the hard fate of all our loved ones. We too will not be spared and will go bravely into the unknown, with the hope that we shall yet see you again when God wills. Don’t forget us, and be good.
We can only imagine the agony the parents experienced as they wrote those lines and the boys’ convulsing sorrow as they read them. I have no words to assuage this grief.
I do know, however, that the Bible doesn’t ignore this kind of anguish. In a most distressing narrative, Scripture recounts how Job lost his children, his wealth and his reputation as a God-fearing man (Job 1:14-19, 22:4-5). His ruin was so immense that when his friends came to visit him, they hardly recognised him (2:12).
Though he endured much confusion and grief, Job refused to turn from his Creator. Although he would “curse the day of his birth”, he would not reject God even when his wife prodded him to do exactly that—to “curse God and die” (2:9). Job believed God was present in the ruins as much as in the blessings (1:21).
Like Job, many of us will face terrible sorrows, but God will be with us even there. We may face hardship and despair, and we may have no answers or consolation. But God is with us, even in the dark unknown (Romans 8:38-39).
365-day plan: 2 Samuel 12:1-25
Read Luke 24:1-12 and consider how this story transforms our darkest experiences.
What lies before you that you fear may be a dark unknown? What does it mean for you to know that God is with you?