Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20-21)
Grief can lead to worship. At least it should. If grief provokes our sinful flesh to focus exclusively on our loss, we might be tempted to try to go it alone—even without help from God. But when grief is embraced by faith it results in the humility of worship.
Worship can and should coexist alongside grief. In fact, grief that does not worship will eventually become self-destructive.
From a human perspective, it might seem that the man named Job had every right to be angry at God. After all, he and his wife had lost every earthly belonging and all ten of their children. The inner pain must have been indescribable. Surely there are no words to adequately describe how much he and his wife hurt. At one point Job wondered if it would have been better to never have been born, carried “from the womb to the grave” (Job 10:19). Yet, instead of turning away from God in anger, Job turned toward God in brokenness and humble worship. You need to do the same.
If your loss is raw, and your wound has not yet scabbed over, worship might be very simple and emotional. Job’s worship was both. He “tore his robe” (a sign of deep, inner pain), “shaved his head” (an outward mark of grief), and “fell on the ground” in worship. We don’t know for sure if Job spoke immediately. Perhaps he wept in silence…at first…not knowing what to say.
But when his grief found its voice it humbly acknowledged the lordship of God over every personal loss. In his heart, Job knew that it was the Lord who had originally given him his real estate, wealth, and children. Lord is from the Hebrew “Adonai,” the name which speaks of God’s ownership, rule, and authority over every part of his creation. Job bowed his heart and head before Adonai. This is significant.
Job’s faith rested in the One who gave, but also possessed authority to take away. Therefore, when all was said and done, there was only one thing left for Job to say: “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Can you do the same? From your heart?