I have a dear friend whose life completely changed three years ago. Great and unexpected loss came to the doorstep of his soul, entered in without invitation, and sought to destroy every sense of blessing, familiarity, companionship, peace, joy, belovedness and love he had ever known. Many tears were shed, many nights passed without rest or sleep, many days brought bewilderment, and many moments seemed to ruthlessly tear at the very fabric of my friend’s existence. “Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea” (Job 6:2-3).
Yesterday I received a text message from my friend that included a picture. The details are not important, but the message and picture revealed that his days of travail led not to destruction, but to resurrection and great gain. Loss lost, as it were, despite the fact that God allowed it ravage this man’s soul. Because throughout his trial, the Lord assured my friend’s heart that he was not alone, and that David’s confession of God being “a very present help in trouble” was, is, and always will be true (Psalm 46:1). Deep in his heart, my friend trusted and submitted to God in the sleepless nights and grief-laden days, often by what seemed the tiniest shred of faith. Subsequently, the text and picture he sent yesterday bear powerful witness to another testimony, this of Jonah: “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and Thou heardst my voice” (Jonah 2:2).
If you knew the details of the story, and if you had received the text message and picture, the thought would come to your mind that comes to mine: God can be trusted. Of course, you doubtless have your own details, your own story, and your own experience of loss knocking, entering, and ravaging. Perhaps even now, the destruction rends your soul and threatens the fabric of your heart. “The tiniest thread of faith” seems all that remains whereby your trust in God endures when everything around you passes away. Let me express it again, God can be trusted. My friend would tell you this, and he would say that a tiny thread of faith is all we need to lay hold of the infinite faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ in our hour of sorrow. Indeed, my friend’s experience bears witness to the truth that keeps us and redeems us, namely, that no one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will. Yes, loss lost in the heart of my friend, and the triumph of the risen Christ once again shined forth in a world wherein He is the only hope available, and the only hope needed.
“So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.”