Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Glimpse into the Life of Job

In the past few weeks, my family has endured several trials. They are mostly temporal things, but they affect the family nonetheless. My dad lost his job, after 17 years of diligent, loyal employment. The dishwasher stopped working. The stove/oven stopped working. The refridgerator stopped working. The cars are falling to pieces. There was a leak in the shower. All these things, and more have afflicted my family. As I look at the events that have happened in my family over the past few weeks, I am reminded of the story of Job. Job was a just man who walked uprightly before God. He was righteous and humble, and he had been blessed significantly by the Lord. He had property and lands and livestock, making him a wealthy man. He had a wife and seven children, who were his pride and joy. He lived a comfortable life, while working hard to earn his keep. Then, the adversary stepped into the picture, and was allowed to tempt Job, to see if he would deny God. Job lost everything. His children died when the roof of his house fell upon them. The cattle and livestock were stolen, and the sheep were burned by the fires from heaven. His servants were slain by the Sabeans and the Chaldeans, who stole the oxen and mules and camels. Later, Job is smitten with boils, which caused him to live in constant discomfort. His wife and friends turn against him, calling him a sinner, and telling him to curse God and die.

The things that my family is facing is nowhere near as awful as what Job faced, but it tests their faith (and mine) anyways. Imagine the sorrow that Job felt. I read about he wished that he had died when he was born, or had never been born. He laments and prays and asks God to remove the hardships from him- yet he never denied God. He said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).

My great-grandfather Clarence Kennedy used to say, "The cows give more milk and the chickens lay more eggs when you have a boy (or girl) on a mission." Though it's hard to see sometimes, there are still blessings being poured out onto my family. My dad now has the opportunity to study his scriptures more often and more in-depth. He has the chance to make the needed repairs on the house (like ordering parts to fix the appliances and repairing the leaks). He has more time to devote to making himself a disciple of Christ, and he is more aware of the things that affect the home. He told me that he tries to study his scriptures at the same time I study during the morning (which is 8:00 for me, 9:00 for him). My mom doesn't have to worry about being home to clean the house so much, or prepare dinner. My sister has her dad at home to help her through the final week of high school, before graduating and turning a new leaf.

Job, though tempted, tried, beaten down, and nearly defeated, said, "when He (the Lord) hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10). The process of refining gold to make it shiny and valuable involves being melted down in a fire several times, until it comes out gleaming and beautiful. How true this held for Job! At the end of his trials, he is blessed to see the Lord with his own eyes. He was restored to his former wealth and comfort, healed of his afflictions, and blessed with seven more children.

I am confident that the things that my family is facing at this time in their lives is part of the refining process to turn them into beautiful, strong disciples of Christ. They will be blessed for enduring well.  Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8 says, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; though shalt triumph over all thy foes." I know that if my family and I approach these trials with an eye single to the glory of God, and praise Him in our trials and in our blessings, He will make a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13), and we will be able to bear our afflictions and trials.

I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know the Atonement is real and that it is available for all who believe in Christ, if they will but come unto Him. I leave this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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