WHAT JOB CAN TEACH US ABOUT GRATITUDE How Faith Can Guide You Through Struggles
M any avid readers consider the story of Job to be the most difficult and challenging text in all of the Bible. The book’s complexity doesn’t stem from unreadable language. In fact, the text is masterfully crafted with rich poetic imagery and philosophical rhetoric. Rather, the complexity stems from the fact that most readers regard the story as an allegory or a parable wherein Job functions as a symbol to guide believers under trial. In the story, God grants Job with good fortune: an ideal family, good health, and abundant riches. Job is grateful and doesn’t take his fortune for granted, but his devotion provokes the envy of Satan, who asks God for permission to tempt his devoted follower. In the course of one day, Job receives four messages bearing news that his livestock, servants, and 10 children have all died due to marauding invaders and natural catastrophes. Satan then puts Job’s health in jeopardy; Job wakes up the following morning covered in painful skin sores. While Job’s faith is definitely tested as he struggles to accept his new circumstances, he does not renounce God. He merely states, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21) Job’s story is particularly interesting during November, the month of gratitude. Whenever I think about all that I am grateful for this year, I am brought back to Job’s experiences. He had everything taken away from him but still found
No matter what is missing in your life, forging a deep connection with God or whichever higher power you believe in can help guide you through your struggles. As prominent rabbi and author, Harold Kushner, explains, “If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” This year, I am particularly grateful for my relationship with God. I am also thankful for my family, hardworking staff, clients, and all of you good people who read this newsletter. Each person I’ve had the pleasure of meeting is special in his or her own way, and I value all of those friendships. So from all of us here at the Law Offices of Jerry Carter, Happy Thanksgiving!
a way to be grateful for all that he had left. More often than not, people find themselves feeling thankful for necessary material possessions like cars, a house, a bed, food, etc. But what happens when these items are taken away? If you strip away all the elements that make your living conditions and your day-to-day routines what they are, would your view of gratitude change? Would you be able to find a way to be thankful? I’ve felt quite blessed in my own life. I’ve had both good and bad circumstances, but I’ve never had to deal with a situation like Job’s, where the bad circumstances so far outweighed the good ones. But even in the worst of situations, I believe the aspects of your life that are lacking can be fulfilled through faith.
“IF YOU STRIP AWAY ALL THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE YOUR LIVING CONDITIONS AND YOUR DAY-TO-DAY ROUTINES WHAT THEY ARE, WOULD YOUR VIEW OF GRATITUDE CHANGE?”
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