We live in a world filled with poverty. Seventy-five percent, if not more, of the world's population is living below the poverty line. We also live in a world where only a small percentage can worship without conflict, fear of condemnation, exile and even death. We are the lucky ones that can drive a car we own, or type in a laptop we own, even go to the local church and pray without fear of being defeated.
Satan was curious about Job. What an experiment; let's remove all his worldly good and see if Job still loves God. Will Job curse God, or will he continue to glorify Him despite all his lose?
Sometimes we get caught up with numbers, with who has more; I want more. Sometimes we get tangled in a web of pride, as if everything we have is due to our talents, our hard work, our hard-earned money. We say to ourselves, that we're good people, we're not mean to anyone, we go to Mass every Sunday (or at least try) and we even give our 10% to the church. Not only are we financially comfortable, but we are religious too.
...how rich are we in spirit? How full of love are we for God? Do you want more of Him or do you want the cool new cell phone that just came out? Do you praise His name, or do you forget to thank Him for all you have and all you are? Do we remember Him when someone gives you praise? Do you say Alleluia in the good times as well as the bad?
Because if you don't then you are very poor. If you don't, then you have nothing, because when you go, when you die, you can't take anything with you but what is within you. God allows us to live the lives we do. God allows us to showcase our talents. He allows us the opportunities to interact with the world our way. He permits us to have houses, cars, computers, even relatives, children and friends.
But with a snap of His fingers, He can take it all away, just like He did to Job. All Job's wealth, all his health, even his wife and children were taken from him and no one came by to eat with him anymore. Everyone who once honored him, now made fun of him. All Job had were three friends who, with all their intelligence and philosophy, tried to analyze why Job was in the situation he was in. And Job, poor Job, besides himself, defending himself to his friends, to the Lord, shouting out all the good he's done, all the evil he's never committed.
Then comes young Elihu to set Job and his friends straight:
Then Elihu continued and said,
"Do you think this is according to justice?
Do you say, 'My righteousness is more than God's'?
"For you say, 'What advantage will it be to You?
What profit will I have, more than if I had sinned?'
Okay, so we are nice to everyone, we give our money to church, we go to Mass every week. Great! As Chris Rock said in one of his stand-ups, "You're supposed to do that!" The question is, do we own up to it, or do we give ALL honor and glory to God?
Of course our Lord enters and gives Job and his friends the greatest answer of all. Man up, He tells Job, and answer my questions:
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
If you ever get the chance, read, or reread God's answer in Job 38-41. It's an excellent reminder to keep our intelligence, our philosophical ideas, our arrogance, and most of all, our pride and "celebrity status" selves at bay and that NOTHING is possible unless God wills it.
Not one thing.
Instead, we need to learn humility, to trust faithfully in God and praise all that He allows us to be and all He allows us to have. This faith, this trust, this love, will be the most valuable thing you can ever own in God's Kingdom, and the best part is that He gives this to us all, free of charge.
So before His fingers snap, get on your knees, bow down your head, say thank you, and remind yourself that no matter how hard you work, how much money you have in the bank, how many acres you own, how many friends you have, or how many times you go to church, His Will always be done. Then, never forget it.