So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. – Job 42:12-13, NLT
Today is an important day for me. Or should I say, it was an important day? I am not quite sure the emotions are mixed on this one. It would have been my eighth wedding anniversary. What was once a day for rejoicing is now a day of grief for me. Perhaps some of you, my readers, can relate?
On the joyful side today, I am reminded of all the gifts God has given me by setting me free from my adulterous former wife. Because I was set free, I was able to marry someone worthy of my trust. Now, I have an amazing, loyal and loving wife, Mrs. DM, who from the very day I proposed to her was more interested in me than the things or status I could give her. I was and am her prize. And God gave me a daughter through her. My heart’s desire was to be a father, and God has restored that dream through my beautiful bride. This amazing little girl is the joy of our lives. She is so full of energy and has the spunk of her mother written all over her mischevious, little princess face. I love her so much! And finally, God has prospered me in my career preserving my calling as a priest after years of drought and discouragement after pursuing that call.
So, while I do grieve the ending of my first marriage today, I am more reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness to me. I can relate to Job. Maybe in some ways you can, too?
Like Job, I endured my fair share of people–“friends”–falsely claiming that I must have in some way caused the ending of my first marriage. The Eliphazes, Bildads, and Zophars seem to multiply at such times of calamity.
And like Job, I cried out many a night asking God “Why?!!”
Like Job, I didn’t get much of an answer to my why questions. But I did receive reminders of God’s faithfulness and love through my family and true friends who provided their tears, hugs, prayers, and more.
And finally, like Job, God brought me to a spacious place and blessed me richly with a family, career, and good health. He restored to me what the Destroyer had taken and added more.
While today’s quote is from that season of blessing in Job’s life after his trial, it strikes me as poignant in what it does not say. I wonder how he felt looking back over those dark days in his later years. Did he still grieve the loss of his first ten children? Did he still wonder why God put him through such a painful trial? I don’t know. But if I was a betting man, I would bet his emotions were mixed even in his prosperous life afterwards.
Yet what I take away from Job’s experience is that God redeems our suffering: Job wrote a book. And I am so glad he did. It has stood as a testimony for generations seeking to understand God and suffering.
And it reminds us today that even the worst pain is not outside God’s power to redeem.