Day 25

Wednesday, March 17
Job 1-2

Today’s reading leaves us with a stark image of Job stripped bare, afflicted, sitting among the ashes. His wife says to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” I imagine Job slowly raising his head to meet his wife’s pain-stricken face as he responds, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Like Job’s wife, I find it hard not to get hung up on what God has allowed to happen to Job. I focus on Job’s outer life and all that he lost. This trips me up and perhaps even distracts me at the very outset from what the book of Job has to teach me.

What mattered to Job, and to God, was his inner life. Job, a man of “integrity” knew he was not defined by what he had. And, perhaps more amazingly, Job would not allow his life to be defined by what had been done to him. Instead, he chose to trust in Divine Love, the Alpha and Omega -- the beginning and the end.

Spend a few minutes in imaginative prayer. Allow yourself to imagine losing all that you’ve worked hard for. What does that look like? Sit with that. Next, imagine losing all those you love. Feel the heartache, the despair. Finally, imagine losing your physical wellness. You, like Job, are utterly stipped bare. What emotions do you feel? What thoughts rise to the surface?

Now, hear these truths: You are not what you have. You are not what has been done to you. You are beloved. God’s love came before you, chose to create you, lives within you, and can never be taken away from you.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

Reflection by Sabra Engelbrecht
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