The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, May 27, 2022 comes to us from Lynette Totorich of Wisconsin.
13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother's house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you." 16 While he was still speaking, another came and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you." 17 While he was still speaking, another came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you." 18 While he was still speaking, another came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you." 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing. Job 1:13-22 NIV
“Grief and Worship”
The entire two and half years of my son’s life have been filled with health problems. We have dealt with a heart that stopped beating, lungs that stopped breathing, and a body that stopped growing. We have seen him struggle to crawl, walk, and talk. Now, we are in the middle of more evaluations. I can relate to the difficulties Job faced. However, there is one part of Job’s experience that I do not understand. When his property was stolen, servants murdered, and children killed, Job grieved and then worshiped. Needless to say, worship is not at the top of my mind when the doctor calls. Heartbreak? Of course. Anger? Usually. Bitterness? Sometimes. Never worship.
But what if it were? When my son inevitably receives his next diagnosis, what if my initial moments of grief could be followed by worship? At some of the worst moments of my life, what if I turned to God? Maybe that could make all the difference, helping to comfort heartbreak, turn anger to peace, and transform bitterness into hope. God never promises an easy life. We all nod along when the pastor says this, but maybe it’s time for me to really start accepting it. If I wake up every day and worship God, then maybe, just maybe, the bad days won’t feel so bad.
I can’t begin to imagine the grief and heartache that Lynette Tortorich is experiencing as she experiences her son’s health struggles. I truly appreciate her candor, and I don’t think that I could worship in a similar situation. Still, I believe this devotional reflection makes an important perspective about worship experiences that can provide many perspectives from celebration to lament, from joy to grief, or from praise to pain. I invite you to consider the various perspectives that you might bring to your worship experiences.
O Lord, help us to worship you today no matter what our days may bring. Help us to take both the good and the bad and turn it over to you. Amen.
Children with Multiple Health Problems.
Thought for the Day:
I will find ways to worship God today, even in my struggles.