My granddaughter slept over Wednesday, and I thought I had told her every Bible story I knew, but I had forgotten about a man who has a whole book written after him: Job.
There is nothing like reading the Scriptures to a child to open your own eyes to it. It is as if I was learning about Job for the first time right along with her. I kept stopping after every few verses to see if she was tracking: that there was a man who was "blameless and upright," so it is possible for us also to be blameless and upright; that this man "feared God and turned away from evil" (1:1), and that we are just as able to do that, and even more so now because Christ has given his Spirit.
I introduced to my granddaughter the character of Satan (1:6), and explained that so much of what goes on in our lives is the result of battles in the heavens that we can't see. I read to her how Satan walks "to and fro on the earth" (1:7), seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
I told her that when bad things happen to us, we must think of it like Job's situation, and how God allows Satan to have his way with us-but within strict parameters (1:12)-in order that we can prove we trust God no matter what happens. God is "testing you to know what is in your heart" (Deuteronomy 8:2).
But then my granddaughter and I got to the part where the devil had taken away everything Job had and everything he loved, and his reaction took me by surprise as if I'd never heard it:
"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped" (1:20).
Job was broadsided by tragedy-and he worshipped. He was just a man, "with a nature like ours" (James 5:17), and he worshipped in a whirlwind of trial. This is the model. This is our expected response.
I thought of my daughter's recent car accident. It would not be lunacy, as an immediate reaction to that accident, to say to myself and publicly: "I praise you, Lord, because you are King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and I believe that all of this is for your glory. I believe your word, that all things work for my good because I love you."