"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘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 1:20—21
The book of Job provides us with a stunning example of courage in the face of adversity. Who is not touched by Job’s faith in the face of unfathomable tragedy? Just as he finished learning that he had lost all of his worldly possessions, he discovered that he had also lost every single one of his children. All on the same day!
Job never lost his faith in God, even under the most heartbreaking circumstances that tested him to his core. It’s hard to imagine losing everything we own in one day—property, possessions, and even children. Most men would sink into depression and even become suicidal after such a nightmare; however, Job never wavered in his understanding that God was still in control. Job’s three friends, on the other hand, instead of comforting him, gave him bad advice and even accused him of committing sins so grievous that God was punishing him by making his life miserable. Job knew God well enough to know that He did not work that way; in fact, he had such an intimate, personal relationship with Him that he was able to make the statement, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).
Job went from being the wealthiest and most blessed man on the planet to being an example of destitution and loss. His response is startling. He did not curse God and he did not question Him. Instead he said, “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.”
In a moment of clarity, Job realized that he never really had anything to lose in the first place. Every human being enters this world with nothing and he/she will leave with nothing. Anything acquired in the meantime is a gift, but oh-so-very temporary.
Perhaps the greatest lesson we learn from the book of Job is that God does not have to answer to anyone for what He does or does not do. What we learn from Job’s experience is that we may never know the specific reason for suffering, but we must trust in our sovereign, holy, righteous God whose ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. This may not seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s mind.
Thousands of years later, these words were echoed in the powerful words said by the late CEO and co-founder of the Apple computer company, Steve Jobs. In a commencement speech given at the Stanford University, Jobs said, “All external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Job and Jobs are making the same point. We come to this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. But that’s not depressing; that’s inspiring. Knowing that we have nothing to lose is comforting, and even empowering.
“Behind this brilliant and quite resilient man who changed so much of modern life, and whose destiny is now with His Creator, is really the figure of One who rose again from the dead. Through the creativity of Steve Jobs is a God using all means to reach His own.”
“At a Seminary in the United States, their classroom teaching, the very same courses by the very same professors, as well as sermons and teaching by some of the most notable pastors of our generation, are being downloaded onto Macs, and yes even PCs, as well as iPads and iPhones all over the earth.”
About five million of those resources, according to Apple’s reports given to the seminary, were resting on portable, electronic “book bags” of believers, seekers, pastors, and pastors-to-be throughout the world.
Through Apple’s technology, the Gospel has been getting through to what the professor dubbed the most hostile places on earth as well as the most hostile ideological places in the secularized Western world.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. Just hours after the news on his death broke, a user going by the name of “Ann Coulter” began a discussion on Yahoo! Answers that posed the question: “Was Steve Jobs a Christian? Just wondering where he is right now…
”“I do not know Steve’s spiritual condition, but I do know that each of us must live in the light of eternity. Steve died today. I could be tomorrow. May I live my life in light of that reality – that life is fleeting AND that eternal life is a gift to all that have been made new in Christ.”