Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
In a matter of hours, Job lost everything.
He lost his house, the place he called home and that gave him rest and peace after a long day.
He lost every one of his animals, his workers, and essentially all means of his income. It would take everything to rebuild what he lost, let alone begin making profits again.
He lost his family, those raised and loved and poured his heart into.
Everything. Everyone. Gone.
Yet he doesn’t turn against God.
Job doesn’t understand why this happened, but he doesn’t need to understand. He loves God regardless of his situation, understanding that our God is the same God in the good and in the bad. In this passage here, Job gives us an example of exactly what it means to love God, following Him and trusting Him even when your entire world falls at your feet.
Of course Job is upset. Of course he’s angry, scared, feeling alone. But look at his first instinct: he prays. Openly acknowledging his situation with God, he doesn’t sugarcoat his suffering or the overall situation. He’s very clear about how little he has now, and he’s upset. Yet he also acknowledges that God hasn’t changed, that our God is still good and loving and merciful. So Job blesses the Lord.
This models the ideal response to anything happening in life: our first instinct should be to turn to God with it, with all our thoughts and feelings about it, and, at the end of the day, to praise God. God wants to be directly involved in our lives, and that means being honest with Him about how things are going. If things aren’t going well, that doesn’t mean ignoring the bad and pretending that it’s all fine. It means inviting God into the situation and understanding that while this situation isn’t good, God is always good and, once we invite Him into it, can and will bring more good out of it.
In this time on earth, Jesus never promised us life would be easy. He never promised us that we would fit in, or that we would never see heartbreak, or that we would never experience suffering. Jesus’ life wasn’t easy, so why would ours be any different?
You are going to face heartbreak. Things will happen in your life that you might not understand. You are going to suffer.
Jesus never promised us that it would be easy, but He did promise it would be worth it.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What have been some of the trying times in your life? Where has God been with you through them?
When something bad happens what is your reaction? Where do you turn to God?
How can you lean into suffering?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"God is unchanging."
"Jesus never promised us that it would be easy, but He did promise it would be worth it."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, at every rough point offer it to the Lord. Some one cuts you off in traffic? Give it to the Lord. Spill hot coffee? Offer it to the Lord. Whatever comes your way today, ask God to use it.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Tatiana Schaffer, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Engineering and Psychology.
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