Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows* in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27

I chose to start with that quote this morning because Sarah and I attended the fundraising Gala of Divine Nest at Old Hickory Country Club last night.  Divine Nest is an organization designed to assist families in the process of adoption and/or foster care.  It was started by Mike and Heather Picker (who themselves adopted a baby from Russia) to offer support, financial aid, advice on what can be a rather lengthy and cumbersome process.  If you would like to see more about their cause, go to www.divinenest.com.

So today’s lesson comes from our first reading this morning from the Book of Job.  I’ve written about Job in the blog in past posts, but you can never write enough about this book of the Bible.  Today’s reading comes from the first chapter and might be best summed up as – so you think you’re having a bad day…

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?”
Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
“From roaming the earth and patrolling it.”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?”
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
“Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face.”
And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person.”
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
“The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
“The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

No matter how you slice it, that is the definition of a BAD day.  One of the lines from this reading that had me thinking about how freely Satan roams was that he joined the angels who were presenting themselves before the Lord and it seems like the conversation was rather casual.  God – Hey Satan, what have you been up to?  Satan – Aaaay, just roaming the earth and patrolling it, same o, same o.  To show Satan’s chutzpah, he even challenges the Lord to let him have his way with Job and challenge Job’s love for the Lord.

So have you had those days.  Nothing has gone right and you’re ready to just throw in the towel.  Seems like we are in those days now.  The Church is divided; the Country is divided; the world is divided.   Why?  Because Satan is still roaming the earth and patrolling it.  So, do we throw in the towel and let Satan win because the process around us, the stress around us, all the strife and hard times are too much?  I hope not.  I know all that is going wrong in the world is the work of Satan and I also know from this story of Job, the only way through this muck is to place all my hope and trust in God.  Trust in God and He will show you the way through these trying times.

Today in our Church, we celebrate the life of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church.  About a year before she passed, she had a vision on a retreat and put that vision into words for us all to contemplate…“Jesus deigned to show me the road that leads to this Divine Furnace, and this road is the surrender of the little child who sleeps without fear in its Father’s arms.”  We must all trust in God just as our children trust in us to keep them safe.  Be not afraid; just have faith.

What I left out of the reading above was Job’s response to all that happened on that fateful day.  Let’s take the time to read it now…

“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!”

In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.

Do something great for our Lord today…pray for the patience and faith of Job.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

 

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