Monday Reflection – June 24, 2019
In the Midst of the Storm
Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad? Job 2:10
Hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica in September 1988. This was my first experience of a hurricane; and I believe for many persons in Jamaica at that time. So many of us never had a clue what to expect, so we waited with great anxiety and fear. It was customary in my home to sleep when it’s raining, so while Gilbert was raging, many of us were fast asleep. I was awakened by the sound of other family members urging us to get up, and also the feeling of water pouring down upon me. As my eyes opened, I was in shock to see a large section of the roof gone. The level of fear and anxiety was heightened. I also witnessed Hurricanes Ivan, Dean, Sandy and Matthew, all in varying degrees, but all posing a serious threat to our lives and livelihood.
While these physical hurricanes and storms have come our way, with the possibility that others will, we also face other storms of life. These storms come in many ways and in varying degrees. They range from ill-health to financial difficulties, to loss of a loved one, to divorce, to a troubled child, and the list goes on. More than that, while some experience a storm now and again, some experience it ever so often, while some experience more than one at a time. Many of us struggle to figure out what to do in the midst of the storm.
Job was one who experienced many storms at the same time. It was as if he woke up one day and lost everything and his entire world came crashing down. He lost his livelihood, his wealth, his servants, his house, his children, and then his health. How would he survive? What would he do now? How does he make it through these storms? As if that was not enough, Job’s wife questioned the sense of him still serving God and maintaining his integrity. She obviously thought that he was mad and foolish. How could he still serve a God who allowed him to be going through this mayhem? In fact, she told him to curse God and die. For her, this God was not worthy to be served. I feel that Job also lost his wife, not physically, but spiritually and emotionally.
In Job’s response, we find some thoughts as to how to survive during the storm. He told his wife,
“You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” Then the text says, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
- Be careful who gives us advice and what kind of advice we get in the midst of the storm. We have to sift through advices that we receive at this most vulnerable stage of our lives and seek divine guidance in how we discern and respond.
- Serving God does not mean that we are immune to life’s challenges and pain. We receive the pleasant experiences of joy, success, and achievements. Yet, we also receive the sorrow, pain and hardships – the good and the bad.
- Life’s pain does not have to lead us to sin and give up. We can overcome by the help of God. He is able to see us through!