Scripture Focus: Job 19.19-20, 25-27
19 All my intimate friends detest me; 
those I love have turned against me. 
20 I am nothing but skin and bones; 
I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

25 I know that my redeemer lives, 
and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 
26 And after my skin has been destroyed, 
yet in my flesh I will see God; 
27 I myself will see him 
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Reflection: Down to the Foundation
By John Tillman

Few are truly prepared for disaster when it comes. Though some try.

“Prepping” has boomed culturally and economically. More stores stock specialized bulk food storage solutions. Panic room and storm shelter installations are up. Many have invested heavily in solar panels and emergency generators.

A prominent example is Ford’s new hybrid truck. In 2021, the gas-electric trucks were primarily marketed as mobile power sources for job sites. (Not to save the environment or any of that mushy stuff.) However, last year’s Texas power grid failure provided an unplanned testing ground. Stories of the trucks helping keep their owners’ homes warm soared in the news.

During the crisis, Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted, “The situation in the SW US is so difficult. Wish everyone in Texas had a new F150 with PowerBoost onboard generator….” Well, the crisis certainly didn’t hurt truck sales. This year, Ford has an all-electric truck that leans hard into those stories and can automatically act as a battery backup for one’s entire home.

While prepping for disaster is wise, it more often measures income than insight. Outlays of cash in case of future crises are out of reach for most people. It is no surprise that the most well-prepared for a crisis are the most wealthy.

Job was as wealthy and secure as a person could be. It wasn’t enough. It was Job’s spiritual preparedness that got him through the crisis—not financial wisdom or disaster prepping. “Wealth builds security,” is a truism similar to some quoted by Job’s friends. It is under attack in the narrative of Job. 

Some disasters we can only prepare for by reexamining and reinvesting in our faith. We can’t generate enough power, pile up enough grain (Luke 12.16-20), or carry enough water (John 4.13-14) to survive. God, however, supplies the needy without cost. He is a never-failing spring and an eternal source of power that will not fail. We short out our faith when we plug in to other sources.

Job did everything right and everything still went wrong. He held onto his faith in God but scraped off everything else, like pus from a sore. Job deconstructed his faith in his wealth, his family, and the friends sitting with him. He stripped his faith to its foundation. From there, God helped Job rebuild. 

Whatever we face, he will help us too. Prepare for disaster. Invest in a foundation of faith.

Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “Whoever holds my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.” — John 14.21

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Job 19 (Listen – 2:58)
Psalm 28-29 (Listen – 2:41)

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Job shows us that…his spiritual practice prepared him to experience tragedy differently than his wife or his friends.