Puppy Kisses

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and …”  (Job 1:20).

Quick.  With Bibles closed (no cheating), finish that line of Scripture from the book of Job.

I guess that’s not really a fair assignment unless you know a little background information.  In the nineteen verses leading up to this one, we meet Job, a God-fearing man who is obviously healthy, wealthy, and living the good life.  He’s such an outstanding guy that God allows Satan to mess with him, just to prove that Job’s the real deal when it comes to faithful followers.  So Satan gets to work, in a big, big way.

First, he takes away all of Job’s property wealth.  Sheep, oxen, camels, donkeys, servants – gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.  Then, he takes away all of his children.  All ten.  Gone.  Eventually, Satan attacks Job’s health and destroys his closest friendships.

But before we get to that point, we find Job in this verse, moments after losing almost everything he has.  So again I ask, what do you suppose Job does after he stands up, tears his robe, shaves his head, and falls on the ground?

I’d probably fill in the blank with “cried.” Or maybe “died.”  Or if we’re really being honest here, I’d say “whined, complained, argued, fussed, fumed, or pigged out on food.”

I doubt I’d do what Job actually did: “worshiped.”

I heard a really great definition of that word on the radio a while ago.  Pete Briscoe defined worship as “an awe-inspiring posture of affection and surrender,” like a puppy lying in your lap, looking up at you and licking your face.

With three dogs of my own, it’s not hard for me to imagine Job like this, and I am simply blown away by his response to such devastating circumstances.  He goes on to say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).  No wonder God thought he rocked.

Even after reading this story many times and walking with a good and gracious Savior many years, worshiping in the face of trials does not come any easier to me.  I wish my knee-jerk reaction to the tough stuff of life would be to worship.  Sadly, I’m more likely to shave my head.

But as I meditate on Job’s powerful testimony of genuine faith, I am challenged once again to surrender my life to Christ, trusting that when I do, I am able to kiss the very face of God.

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