After quite a long holiday, here I am, back to meet you guys again. To open up our new year of 2013, I would like to share a short story from the novel The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho.
“In the book of Job, God is sitting upon His celestial throne when the Devil comes to speak to Him. God asks where he has been and the Devil replies that he has been ‘going to and fro in Earth’.
‘Did you see my servant Job? Did you see how he worships me and performs all his sacrifices?’
The Devil laughs and replies: ‘Well, Job does, after all, have everything, so why wouldn’t he worship God and make sacrifices? Take away the good You gave him, and see if he worships You then.’
God accepts the challenge. Year after year he punishes the man who most loved Him. Job is in the presence of a power he cannot comprehend, whom he believed to be the Supreme Judge, but who is destroying his animals, killing his children and afflicting his body with boils. Then, after great suffering, Job rebels and blasphemes against the Lord. Only then does God restore to him that which He had taken away.
Why did God force Job to behave in that way? To show that he was by nature bad, and that everything that came to him was by grace and grace alone, and not as a reward for good behavior, we have committed the sin of pride in believing ourselves to be better than we are – and that is why we are suffering.
God accepted the Devil’s wager and – so it seems – committed an injustice. Remember that: God accepted the Devil’s wager. And Job learned his lesson, for like us, he too was committing sin of pride in believing that he was a good man.
None is good, says the Lord. No one. We should stop pretending to a goodness that offends God and accept our faults: if one day we have to accept a wager with the Devil, let us remember that our Father who is in heaven did exactly the same in order to save the soul of His servant Job.”
May this story remind us what we are, what we have and what God has given us. May this story should be kept dearly in our hearts throughout the year.
Again, Happy New Year.