But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. – Job 23:10
When I was in Arizona a few weeks ago, I watched as my oldest grandson successfully crossed the monkey bars in the park near his home. It was the first time I saw him move from one side to the other by letting go of one bar and reaching ahead to the next – one by one,
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis
It may be a bit simplistic, but it seems to me that when a crisis strikes, people respond in one of two ways. Some grieve and draw close to God in the process while others develop a grudge and in their bitterness turn from God altogether.
I think about this day often, but today is one of those days that has marked our family. It was February 22, 1989, when my Dad was murdered. It was a devastating day in so many ways as a wife lost her husband, children lost their father, a mother lost her son and a church and community lost its pastor.
Thirty-two years seems both like it was just yesterday and so very far away at the same time. Our family has faced its challenges along the way, but it is my hope that while we have been affected, we have been able to move forward. We remember the past, but we are not bound to it and so we move forward.
In the verse above, Job was looking forward to the day when his “test” would be over when he would be restored before God. At the end of Job’s story, his fortunes were restored as the Lord “blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42: 12).
This isn’t to say that Job forgot about the loss of his children. How could he? But it does remind us that Job was able to move forward and enjoy the family restored by God.
Each one of us has faced some moment of crisis. The truth is that some who will read this have faced many, but the key is how we respond and if we are able to move forward.