“As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.” (Amos 5:19)
You and I have heard the sermons over and again. And it is true we live in perilous times. Sometimes the news reports seem worse now than the day before. We wonder if things will ever be better.
The story of Job is among the oldest in scripture. Yet, the news he received went from bad to worse. All his children, cattle, servants and property were suddenly taken from his life. Disease began to ravage his body. He was faced with nothing but grief and pain and a wife who told him to curse God and die. In the midst of all these tragic calamities, the Bible says he did not charge God foolishly. In other words, he would not blame the Lord.
He covered his bleeding sores with ashes and sat outside. He hoped for answers. His friends came to comfort him and had no words. They simply sat with him and silently stared through the gloom. Eventually, all that had been violently taken from him was replaced, but through heartbreaking ordeal, Job found no answers. His only response was, “The Lord gave and The Lord has taken away. Blessed is the name of the Lord.”
Life is filled with uncertainties, disappointments, joys and celebrations. You may be facing a broken heart today, or rejoicing in the gift of new life. You may have recently lost a job or received notice of eviction. Bankruptcy may be in your future. You may be suffering from pandemic era depression and isolation. You may be fearful because of all the hatred being displayed in our nation. You might be the object of persecution or discrimination.
Good news is on the way. Weeping of night will give way to joy. Your mess will be turned into a glorious message, and your test into a testimony of triumph. Do not be afraid. God is with us, and no power on earth can change that. Just wait and see!
Will Shewey is pastor of Shades of Grace United Methodist Church in Kingsport.