I’ve done some thinking about Job the past few months. That guy had a rough life. He lost his crops, his livestock, his children, his health. And all at once. According to the “deal” made regarding Job, the devil could take everything from him except his life. Job had to be left to live through it all.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
There are a lot of wonderful verses in Job with his reactions to his trials about maintaining his integrity throughout when his friends and wife were telling him to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). But before he got there, he went through chapter 3. In chapter 3 he does not curse God, but he spends the whole chapter cursing the day he was born:
Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
Job 3:3, 11-12
That is not a happy man. That is a man who does not know all of God’s plan. He does not know what is in store for him in the future. He does not know that at the end of all this he’s going to be blessed beyond what he could’ve imagined before. He does not know that his integrity through his trials will save him. He does not know that his trials will serve to comfort countless others throughout history.
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.
Doctrine & Covenants 121:7-10
Would Job have been as blessed if his mother’s knees really had squeezed him to death upon his birth? Would Job have been as blessed if he had been allowed to die when he lost what he thought was everything?
The trial Job went through made it possible for God to bless him more than before. The trials were simply the precursor to the blessings. Without the trial the blessings would not have been possible. The trials were part of the blessing.
Maybe I could start looking at my trials that way. I certainly don’t know how all of this will end up. But I can choose to have faith that my trials are preparing me for a blessing even greater than the ones I thought I had in the first place. I can choose faith that God is preparing me to help others through their trials just as Job’s trials continue to help people through their trials today. I can choose to let the trials I face be the vehicle for blessings from heaven.