Have you ever...
* received devastating news?
* felt that the world was suddenly closing in around you?
* sensed that the events before you were too much to face?
* felt like darkness was consuming you with no hope of escape?
* felt like you couldn't catch your breath, that the news you just encountered left you gasping for air?
I was reminded of a man that must have felt each one of these things. I know I have felt such things and yet, I can't even begin to imagine facing what this man faced.
The first messenger brought news that the oxen and donkey's had been stolen. The farm hands had all been killed except one. That one was standing before him giving him the news. While this one was still speaking another messenger arrived.
This was the second messenger's words, “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” As if that wasn't enough, while he was still speaking yet another messenger arrived.
The camels had been stolen and the servants killed. This servant messenger was the lone survivor. And what was that on the horizon? While this servant messenger was speaking... still another messenger.
There had been a terrible storm causing a house to collapse. A house that belonged to his oldest son. A house that had all of his children in it having a feast. A house that now contained no survivors... except the messenger now standing before him.
As impossible as this sounds, it really happened. I know this story to be a fact. I have read and heard of this man's story before. Maybe you have too. Did you recognize these events that are recorded in the Bible in the book of Job... about Job (Pronounced "Jobe") ?
As I was reading the first chapter again, something stood out to me. It was so profound I stopped. I couldn't help but stop.
My breath caught in my throat. I re-read the line to make sure I hadn't misinterpreted what my eyes believed they had just read. I could hardly comprehend Job's response.
I would have fallen to the ground in utter grief, in desperation, in overwhelming devastation. I think if any of us were to react in such a way after hearing such news we would understand it. We would not question it. We would probably almost expect it.
What I saw is not what I remembered seeing before. What I saw challenged me.
I saw how Job fell.
After receiving these reports one right after the other, we do know that he fell to the ground. The Bible tells us very clearly that he fell to the ground.
There are now two words that will forever impact how I see Job. Two words, that I pray, will embed so deeply in my own heart that they will now impact how I respond in the face of my worst imaginable circumstances. Two words that caused my reading to stop and my thoughts to center here.
Two words: "In Worship"
After rising and tearing his robe in grief, he shaved his head. He then "fell to the ground in worship."
Job had just received devastating news. I'm sure he felt the world was suddenly closing in around him. I'm sure he wondered if he would be able to face these events.
I can only imagine he sensed that darkness was consuming him with no hope of escape. I have no doubts his breathing became a bit more labored and left him gasping for air as he faced this news.
And in spite of it all... he fell to the ground... in worship.
Oh that my heart might be so trusting of God, His goodness, and His sovereignty. I pray that regardless of what I might face, I, without hesitation, will fall to the ground... in worship.
Have you stopped to consider how you fall? Especially when all seems dark?...
(This account can be found in Job 1:13-22)