Recently, my Beloved has seen fit to grant my family, and I much grace. I do not say this to brag, but rather for you to see that which is often overlooked or unseen. In the Book of Job, our Beloved unveils to us that grace comes to us often through that which we see as trials, obstacles, and sufferings.
Many of us look upon trials as something evil and to be avoided at all costs; however, let us look and contemplate upon Job 1:21 and what our Beloved desires us to learn about the hidden graces.
“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
First, we note that Job states, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb”. You did not bring your own life into existence, and you will never have the power to bring yourself into life. Only through humility can we come to see with what Love we were a thought in God’s mind and with that same love our Beloved not only created us, but also holds us in existence with tender, fatherly affection, even during those times when we turn from Him through sin. Through humility we are also able to see that same Love becomes incarnate within the womb of Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant. Christ came to us out of love in order to take our sins upon Himself and to suffer and die in a most humiliating way in order for us to rise with Him.
Second, Job says “Naked I shall return”. Our Beloved reveals to us that when we die, we shall stand in all humility before the Eternal Judge and, without excuses, and understand how, by the way we lived our lives, we chose our eternal reward of heaven, heaven through purgatory, or hell.
The final part of the quote says, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”. It is out of absolute eternal love that our Beloved grants us that which we need, both physically and spiritually. Many see God only as the eternal Judge Who is ready to send fire and brimstone down upon sinners. While one part of our Beloved is judge, He is also eternally merciful, forgiving, and compassionate. He desires your whole being – body and soul- to be overcome and enwrapped in His heart.
At times Our Beloved, Who desires all of this for us, allows us to experience separation from things we love or mean a lot to us. It is during these times that people often become angry, resentful, depressed, or turn their back upon He Who loves them most. We often fall into these ‘traps’ instead of trying to see what we are being taught or given. We don’t often come to understand that some things need simple faith by which we trust and fully abandon ourselves to Divine Providence.
Now, I’ll tie everything together. Job was showed people that our Beloved is merciful and loving. Job also teaches us that through many hardships – physically, spiritually, and emotionally – God is there watching and helping us as we face all that burdens us. Job 1:21 is my favorite verse because although Job’s life was crumbling and dying, he remained faithful in humility to God. He didn’t react upon emotion and wasn’t looking for some ‘feel-good’ faith; rather, Job’s relationship with God was based upon faith instead of emotion. Faith can have emotion, but ultimately, as I think St. John of the Cross would agree with me on, those emotions, those consolations are not what our relationship with God should be about. Instead, our relationship with God should be rooted in humility, realizing that whatever occurs in each present moment not only brings a lesson to us to grow in love with God, but also should be based upon simple faith, the faith of a child, that requires simple steps toward our Beloved, even when taking a step is hard because of the darkness surrounding us.