“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” ~ Job 1:9-11
As I was struggling with something I found disappointing this week, I got to thinking about what it is that breaks us in this life.
This disappointment was small, but it was something I had really hoped for. Not getting it doesn’t really change my life in the slightest, but it does make me sad. And it was in addition to not having heard back from a friend in some time, along with other things, and all in all, really had me feeling pretty low.
I think so often we assume our breaking point will come after a Job-like situation: the loss of everything we hold dear, home, family, livelihood. Job lost everything in one feel swoop. Everything. And he still held on to God.
But most of us never experience a firestorm situation like that. Our lives tend to go the way we expect them to: grow up, get a job, find a place to live, maybe have a family, grow old. Yet the world is filled with broken people, people who are sad and lost. Why is that, then, if they were never dealt the crushing blows Job was?
While all-consuming destruction may be the most obvious way to break a person down, I think that we also have to be aware of the small, slight, more subtle version: being broken through a million tiny losses. This is the kind of broken that doesn’t happen all at once, but rather over time – a disappointment here, a lost friendship there, a promotion missed out on, a dream not realized. The kind of losses that seem bearable individually, but add them all up and it can be altogether too much.
As bad as that may seem, don’t lose heart! While yes, left to weather the storm alone, we would easily be beaten down by the howling rages of life. But as believers, we haven’t been left alone. Christ came and gave His life, and sent the Holy Spirit to stay with us, helping us along, guiding us every step of the way. Troubles are guaranteed in this life, but so is the promise that Christ has overcome everything we face.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33