He did this for Job. Job, a man of the Old Testament, was blessed with wealth, family, friends and perfect health. In one day he lost it all. His children died, his wealth was taken, his friends rejected him and he was struck with a sickness that covered his body in sores. Job had nothing and was in such despair he rent his clothes, put on sackcloth (coarse clothing of goat’s hair), sat ashes and scraped his sores with broken pottery.
During biblical times ashes represented extreme sorrow, and so Job literately sat down in the middle of his sorrow. To the naked eye Job looked wretched and utterly alone. However, Job knew God was in the midst.
Job was tenacious, as a bull dog he seized the hope of God’s salvation and refused to let it go. God honored his faithfulness and in the end Job received double of all he had lost. He received beauty for his ashes.
We all suffer the trials of Job; the loss of a job, bankruptcy, foreclosure, a phone call about the death of a loved one, or an x-ray confirming terminal illness. God can take care of all our problems big or small. It’s true, God wants our faithfulness but he also wants our weakness. He encourages us to cast ALL our cares upon Him because he cares for us.
Be tenacious. Don’t stop believing that He hears our cries, sees our tears and understands when no one else can or will. He is gentle, merciful and longs to gather us to him much like the hen who gathers her chicks under her wing.
Don’t lose hope…keep the faith and in due time God will give you beauty for your ashes.
“…those… who mourn. I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow and I will give them celebration clothes.” (Isaiah 61:3)