Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord! If we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too?Job 1:21,2:10
An interesting quote from my morning Divine Office readings and one of my absolute favourite. Here we see Job simply accepting the nature of the reality he lives in. He does not curse God for the extreme losses and suffering he has endured. He does not whine and moan that God doesn’t love him or humanity because he fails to intervene or allows such suffering to befall him and his household. Instead, he readily receives it.
To those with faith the nature of reality is that we live in a fallen world of good verses evil. Our ancestors put their foot in it and we are suffering the consequences of their actions. We can whine and moan that God is evil for not going back on his promises. We can turn our backs on Jesus and simply walk away and create our own illusory world of comfort but it never changes the theological reality we are currently immersed in.
Jesus came as the New Adam and saved us giving us a chance at being divinized once again and becoming like unto God by participation in the Divine Will. All day we can ask why God made it this way and we tend to want to take the scepter of God and decide how we’d do things if in charge. However, this Divine Being who is beyond our small minds has allowed it to be this way. Call it evil if you want, call it good. Call it whatever you like, but this is the reality we live in. The man makes the chair, not the other way around, right? But if he gave that Chair free will and the ability to think for itself, it wouldn’t be long before the chair began to complain about its maker. Ha ha!.
I often meditate on all those fantasy novels and movies where the Land is portrayed as being cursed. Nobody really gets too busy whining and moaning do they? Instead, they look for the solution and how to turn back the clocks and lift the curse. We are living in a world that is cursed. Since the time of Adam and Eve the world is severely broken. The only way back is not through whining and moaning but by simply accepting the solution and working with God and whatever he’s left us with to complete the journey.
We can choose to accept the reality we are faced with or strap on our faces a virtual reality where we get to create our own world of happiness that excludes what we visualize as a tough reality to face. It’s like a person living beside a Volcano that has erupted. Either he accepts the reality of what faces him or he simply creates his own reality that there is no eruption. Doesn’t matter what world he constructs to make himself feel better, he’s getting consumed by the ash one way or another, right?
It’s the same with God. It doesn’t matter what we think about God, the nature of the world we live in and how we like to see things, reality will always be reality. Someone who thinks they know better than God, are like the person who performs the pointless exercise of throwing paint at the sky expecting the color of it to change.
We put people like that in a mental home and feed them with as much help as possible don’t we? Well, a person who turns their back on the reality of the horrible evil world currently under control by demons is no different.
Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit is a prime example of someone who doesn’t like what he hears and refuses to give in to reality. In the beginning he refuses to go. He doesn’t want to accept the reality of what is taking place. He desires to live in the happiness and comfort of his own little hobbit hole and turn a blind eye to the inevitable that would have destroyed him had he not accepted the mission. The whole idea of having to come face to face with the reality of what he would suffer seriously caused him much concern. He winced at the idea of having to face the sorrows of the journey.
We too have to face the same sorrow. We want to receive nothing but good things from the Lord and the idea that our journey towards him is filled with sorrow and suffering fills us with dread. We can be like Job and accept the nature of reality and get the mission done without complaint, or we can simply climb into our hobbit hole of comfortable illusions. They give us the impression of happiness and we convince ourselves that this is the right path, but reality always knows better and sooner or later it will catch up with us either in this life or the next.
This is how much the Lord loves us, that he would send His only Son into the World to be mocked, whipped Crucified and suffer the most grievous ills. He knew what kind of value we put on life and how suffering is something we recoil at with great disgust.
Therefore this God of pure love came into this fallen world taking on our flesh and showed us that he transcends it all. He wants us to accept the nature of reality as He does and that He loves us. Therefore he comes and sacrifices His life for us. Yes, the light penetrated a very dark world to unite with us in our reality and suffering.
He accepted the nature of His reality and death on a Cross that we may be able to do the same. We must accept reality and be willing to be crucified to the world. We must crucify all forms of ungodliness in us in order to enter the heavenly abode no unclean thing can enter. In order to be crucified we must nail to the Cross our illusions and faux reality we’ve constructed for ourselves. All of that must die if we are to grow into a tree that bears the fruit of intelligence and virtue as Job did.
We have to stop turning our backs to the wall, instead, choosing to face reality head on with all its uncomfortable sufferings. On this path there are moments of happiness and moments of suffering. With Gods grace we accept this is just the way things are and that questioning it or moaning about doesn’t change that reality. Like all players who find themselves in the arena of battle, we learn to accept that either we fight, or we die. We learn how to adapt to this world of suffering and do all in our power to make the best of a bad situation.
All that matters is that we are saved.
Every time you endure suffering pray with Job and say, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord! If we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too?”
Not all suffering comes from the hand of the Lord, but when such suffering caused none other by the evil world we live in takes place don’t recoil at the thought of prayer. Bless the name of the Lord and break the cycle of hatred with your forgiveness and love. Be free and do not allow the suffering from the one who raped or murdered your loved one rule over you.
Do not allow suffering be your King and you its slave. Allow Jesus to be your King and he will crown you as he did Job with the ability to rule over all your sorrows and to approach them with a divine Joy in this crazy reality we’ve no option but to accept.