I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable. — Viktor Frankl
(Scripture Text: Jb 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17)
Job answered the LORD and said:
I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.
I have dealt with great things that I do not understand;
things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know.
I had heard of you by word of mouth,
but now my eye has seen you.
Therefore I disown what I have said,
and repent in dust and ashes.
Thus the LORD blessed the latter days of Job
more than his earlier ones.
For he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels,
a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses.
And he had seven sons and three daughters,
of whom he called the first Jemimah,
the second Keziah, and the third Kerenhappuch.
In all the land no other women were as beautiful
as the daughters of Job;
and their father gave them an inheritance
along with their brothers.
After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years;
and he saw his children, his grandchildren,
and even his great-grandchildren.
Then Job died, old and full of years.
When disaster strikes, an obvious question is: "Why did God let this happen to me?
Disaster can be in some instances a call to repentance (see Lk 13:3, 5) and commitment to the Lord. God can change the worst disasters into "enduring joy" (Bar 4:29) if we "turn now ten times the more to seek Him" (Bar 4:28). After a disaster, we are often naturally traumatized and spiritually paralyzed. However, as sin increases, grace increases all the more (Rm 5:20). After a disaster, we should "grab" the grace of the moment and turn to the Lord with ten times greater zeal. We must "redeem the time" (Eph 5:16) and "make the most of the present opportunity, for these are evil days" (Eph 5:16).
When we don't learn from disaster, we set the stage for the next disaster.
In our reading today, Job's life had a happy ending. It turned out that he was blessed even more than in his earlier days (Jb 42:12).
Those who have surrendered their lives to Christ have reason to be happier than the richest, most popular, and most talented people in the world. Even in our worst trials we should be happier than other people in their joys. God became man and died on the cross for us. We're new creations (2 Cor 5:17) on our way to perfect, eternal happiness.
The Lord takes our tragically fallen nature, drowns it in the waters of Baptism, and gives us a new nature, a share in His divine nature (2 Pt 1:4).
Let Him change the worst into the best.