Job is one of those books of the Bible that I haven’t given the attention that it deserves.
Last week, when wintry weather of doom was invading the majority of the southern United States, Robert and I found ourselves in the midst of it. On Wednesday evening, we were able to watch a powerful lesson by one of my favorites, BJ Clarke, on the topic of Job. It spurred my interest in the book again, and so earlier this week I found myself reading through the holy words in the book that bears Job’s name.
When I came to chapter 42, I came to a realization that I often do: I don’t recognize my dependence on God as much as I should. Notice I didn’t say I’m not as dependent on God as I should be, because I am always equally as dependent. Regardless of my acknowledgement, I am wholly and completely dependent upon the Almighty God to give me life and breath and time. Sometimes, though, I don’t acknowledge it. I don’t give much thought to the One who is sustaining me, but Job reminded me to be.
In Job 42:10, the discourse about Job’s new life begins. He is going to have twice as much as had been taken away from him. Twice as many sheep and camels and oxen and money and children. But there are four words that start verse 10 that really caused me to stop and think: “And the LORD restored…”
Job’s life fell apart in one huge storm. He lost his children, his wealth, his health and his wife’s support. I have never had an experience like that. Compared to Job, everything in my life has been a mere thunderstorm as opposed to his hurricane. Still, though, when storms hit (not if, when), life will return to a sense of normality and calm after a period of endurance. When it does, don’t be fooled: you aren’t the one putting life back together.
So often, we’re tempted to be the ones to put everything back together again. After we’re blindsided by a storm of life, we like to regain control and put everything back just like it was. No doubt, after Job has gone through this period of his life, he’s ready for stability. He’s ready to go back to the way things had been. But he doesn’t start the process. He doesn’t get to be the one who decides how and when it happens. Instead, it is the LORD. The Lord restores.
Whatever it is that has taken your life off track, or gotten you in a tailspin, let God restore you. Don’t try to take control. Don’t try to have all the answers. Instead, give the reins to God. He knows what you are capable of, and when you can’t take anymore. He will restore you. He will give you peace. He will pick up the pieces when the storm passes. And He will do so in a manner far better than you could have ever imagined.
Maybe Job expected to be restored to where he had previously been, but I doubt he expected twice as much. But that is our God: going above and beyond all we can ask or imagine. Blessing us over and over again, giving us abundance in every area.
If you want a mediocre life, try to put yourself back together. If you want the best life possible, let God restore you. After all, He formed you and knows all of the thoughts and intents of your heart, as well as the very number of hairs on your head. He knows what is best for you and will give you what is best for you. Your job is to let Him.