Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)
Scripture Reading: Job 2:7 –10
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Jonathan Edwards, in a famous sermon on the book of Job, noted that the story of Job is the story of us all. Job lost everything in one day: his family, his wealth, and his health. Most of us experience our losses more slowly over the span of a lifetime until we find ourselves on the door of death, leaving everything behind. Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery. It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. There is no going back to the past. . . . It is not therefore true that we become less through loss unless we allow the loss to make us less, grinding our soul down until there is nothing left. . . . Loss can also make us more. . . .I did not get over the loss of my loved ones; rather, I absorbed the loss into my life, until it became part of who I am. Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it. . . . One learns the pain of others by suffering one’s own pain, by turning inside oneself, by finding one’s own soul. . . . However painful, sorrow is good for the soul. . . . The soul is elastic, like a balloon. It can grow larger through suffering.
Question to Consider
How can you see God enlarging your soul through your losses?
Father, when I think about my losses, it can feel like I have no skin to protect me. I feel raw, scraped to the bone. Looking at Job and Jesus helps, but I must admit that I struggle to see something new being birthed out of the old. Enlarge my soul through the trials and losses of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)