TODAY'S THEME: Book of Job: Facing Suffering
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Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing inspiration, quotes and religious resources. This Home Page is changed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are warmly
invited to read every quote posted for each theme, or simply to read those that interest you. They are
offered in the belief that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and that finding the commonality
in religions is more important than pointing up the differences. Religion is precious gift that blesses the
individual and uplifts the community. However you worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. Let
us meet regularly and build a spiritual network. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.

On Today's Theme:

The Book of Job tells of a righteous man whom God allows Satan to test, and test
Job he does. Poor Job loses everything: wife, children, cattle, servants and land. And
when he still won't curse his God, Satan smites him with hideous boils. Job's friends
come to comfort him but also to inform Job that obviously he has done something to
offend the Lord. Job steadfastly asserts his innocence, and says he wants to argue
things out with God, who near the end of the chapter does come and engage Job in
lively confrontation. In their exchange, Job earnestly defines a humble and devout
relationship with the Lord. In the end, God accepts Job, his prayers save his
friends and God restores everything to Job...and then some.

We all can identify with Job, because at some point, we've all felt like the
heavens were raining down trouble. We can find many levels of help in this
book, even beyond this commiseration. Job sets an example of stalwart
steadfastness for us to lean upon. He minces no words about his pain, but
blames no one, not himself, not God, not others. He constantly maintains
God's supremacy with "fear" and devotion. And he feels familiar enough
with his Lord to actually argue with HIm! You don't argue with someone
you love unless you feel so close to them that you're certain the
challenge won't destroy the love you share. Job was that sure.

-Lisa Bowman

All engravings are by William Blake (1757-1827)

It happened one day: The angels came to stand before Hashem, and the
Satan, too, came among them to stand before Hashem. Hashem said to
the Satan, "Where is it that you are coming from?" The Satan answered
God, and said, "From wandering and walking about the earth."

Hashem asked the Satan, "Did you set your heart to (take note of) My servant
Job? For there is no one like him on earth; a wholesome
and upright man, who fears God and shuns evil."

The Satan answered Hashem and said, "...But send forth Your hand and touch
everything that is his, (and see) if he does not blaspheme You to Your face!"

It happened one day, when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking
wine in the hoe of their eldest brother, that a messenger came to Job and
said, "The oxen were plowing and the she-donkeys were grazing alongside
them, when Sabeans befell and seized them. They struck down the servants
and consumed them. Only I, by myself, escaped to tell you!"

This one was still speaking, when this (other) one came and said, "Your sons
and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in the home of their eldest
brother, when behold, a great wind came from across the desert. It struck the
four corners of the house, it collapsed upon the young men and killed them..."

Job stood up and ripped his shirt, and he tore (the hair of) his head...
"...Hashem has given, and Hashem has taken away, blessed be the
name of Hashem." Despite all this, Job did not sin nor ascribe
impropriety to God.

Job 1: 6-8, 11, 13-15, 18-22
The Stone Edition Tanach


Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on. Let me stand.
I am tired. I am weak. I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
and lead me home.

African American Spiritual

So long as I still have life in me and the breath of God is in
my nostrils, my lips shall not speak falsehood, nor my
tongue utter deceit!

My justice I will maintain and I will not relinquish it;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

Job 27: 3-4, 6
New American Bible


Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that it you
just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn
will come. You wait and watch and work:
You don't give up.

Anne Lamott (1954-  )
Popular American author


The Depression, which was difficult for everyone, especially so for a single black
woman in the South tending to her crippled son and two grandchildren, caused
her to make the statement of faith often.

She would look up as if she could will herself into the heavens, and tell her family
in particular and the world in general, "I will step out on the word of God. I will
step out on the word of God." Immediately I could see her flung into space, moons
at her feet and stars at her head, comets swirling around her. Naturally, since
Mamma stood out on the word of God, and Mamma was over six feet
tall, it wasn't difficult for me to have faith. I grew up knowing
that the word of God had power.

Maya Angelou (1928-       )
American novelist, poet, actress and civil rights activist
From "Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now"
Bantam Books, 1994

Then 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.

Job 42: 1-5
New American Bible


Sometimes -- especially when we are suffering --
the only thing we can do is approach the throne of grace, as we
have been invited, and kneel in silence before our God.
We may do so even when we can't put two words together in prayer.
The Bible promises mercy and grace in those times of distress. His favor
wraps around our shoulders like a warm blanket, and His Spirit prays for
us in words beyond our comprehension. Step into that throne room
right now, and experience intimacy with your God.

Joni Eareckson Tada (1949- )
Prolific Christian author; quadriplegic from a 1967 diving accident
Excerpted from "31 Days Toward Intimacy with God"
Multnomah Publishers, 2005


And now, the Last Word:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

"The Serenity Prayer"
Attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr











































Bonus Quote:

My life has been one great big joke,
dance that's walked a song that's spoke, I laugh so
hard I almost choke when I think about myself.

Maya Angelou (1928-   )
American poet


On today's
Home Page:

Book of Job;
American Spiritual;
Anne Lamott;
Maya Angelou;
Joni Eareckson