Job 1:20b-21 – Then [Job] fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." (NIV)
As I walked in the park one morning, I was startled to see a woman bending over a faucet, water streaming off her head. Then, I saw the carrier by her feet with bottles of hair shampoo and rinse peeking out of the top, and I realized that she was washing her hair. She might be the same woman I've often seen hanging out in the park in an old car that appears to be packed to the roof with all her belongings. I think that she is homeless, spending her days under the shade trees in the park and finding some out-of-the-way spot to park at night.
By contrast, I was in the park simply walking for exercise. Afterwards, I got in my much newer car and returned to my well-equipped recreational vehicle, where a hot shower awaited.
That day, I was listening to an audio book by Chuck Swindoll: Great Lives: Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance. He was discussing Job's response, in today's verse from Job 1:21, to the loss of all of his earthly goods and his children.
- You and I arrived in a tiny naked body, and a not very good-looking one at that. And what will we have when we depart? A naked body plus a lot of wrinkles.
We have nothing when we arrive; we have nothing when we depart. So everything we have is provided by the Giver of life. You take nothing because you brought nothing — everything is on loan. We enter the world with our tiny fists clenched, screaming, but we always leave the world with our hands open on our silent chests. Naked in, naked out.
1 Timothy 6:7-8 – For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (NIV)
God owns it all: the kids, the house, the car, the bank account. It's just ours to take care of while on earth. As the old saying goes, there's no need for a U-Haul behind a funeral hearse.
I don't know that woman's story — why she is living out of her car. But seeing her washing her hair in the public faucet made me wonder how I'd respond if my earthly goods and my family were suddenly taken away. Would I praise God in spite of my circumstances? Am I holding everything loosely, taking no pride in my possessions and family? Am I using those resources and possessions to serve the Lord? They're not mine, but a gift from Him, mine to use while here on earth. Those are questions to which we all must respond.
Prayer: Father, help us to respond as Job did, to fall to the ground and worship You in all the circumstances in our lives. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "O Worship The King" (Lyrics)