We are all layered with self-sufficiency. The Book of Job gives us an incredibly graphic picture of God removing those layers one by one.
First, Job lost all his business holdings. In one tragic event, all his livestock and employees were gone. Then he received news that all his sons and daughters had been killed. And some time later, he became so sick that all he could do was sit in an ash heap and scrape with a piece of broken pottery the painful sores that covered his body.
Many of us would have folded at that first blow. All we’d have to do is lose our financial security, and we'd find ourselves running away from God, kicking and screaming. But not Job. As layer after layer was stripped away, he remained faithful. He didn't turn away from God when he lost his wealth, his family, or his health. And as each layer was removed, it revealed more of the deep-rooted faith and inner strength that made Job the righteous man that he was.
Life has a way of stripping us down to our true selves. We can go into a trial displaying a certain depth of character, but only when we hit rock bottom do we find what we're really made of. And only when we're stripped down to nothing do we discover how little all that stuff we thought was so important is really worth.
Amazingly, Job was able to keep a godly perspective on his losses. After he learned all his children were dead, he fell to the ground and worshiped God, proclaiming, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart” (Job 1:21).
What kind of character would be exposed if God were to strip away all the layers of your life?