Monday, July 29, 2013
Lessons from Job
I just couldn't sleep last night - the minutes ticked by as my mind whirled... I was trying to get a clearer vision of what route to try next in my search for stability in my career path(s)/finances...
I vainly tried to quiet my thoughts and get some desperately needed rest... As my phone showed the 2am hour slipping away, I stared into the darkness, angrily punched my pillows and tossed & turned in utter frustration and annoyance... knowing if I gave in and got up to burn off my angst, the sun would be up and I'd be no good for my full day ahead... that and the knowledge that I'd be driving my kids around forced me to stay in bed -- praying for a reprieve from the burden of stress so I could sleep!! ...I dont know, maybe I should have gotten up -- might have finally tired out by 3am, but I would've gotten some housework done at least...
Have you ever felt like the darkness is overwhelming you and everything around you? Like no matter how hard you try, you just can't gain traction and are slipping into a dark pit...
"...in Him was life... And that life was the light of all...and that light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it..." John 1:4-5
This time has been a roller coaster of attitudes, emotions and the continual adjustment and realigning of those to the Lord's viewpoint. God is very good to me in that He patiently and lovingly redirects me every time I get lost in the maze of life's messes and the resulting self pity... Thankful He's never given up on me!!
Have you read the book of Job? It has been one of my favorites since I was a child -- I don't know exactly why, but, I identified with Job. I decided that his response to the tragedies occurring was the correct response and that I would try to do the same in my life... I have had my chance to test that belief and I have found that foundation sure, Christ is my bedrock and has never changed!
A familiar verse, that most of us know or have heard - Job 5:7 "...man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward."
This always troubled me because it seemed to say there is "no way around it"... When I was in college I heard a wise, man of God speak on this verse and I naively rebelled against it, thinking, "No Way! Not in my life! I'm going to do things right...and pray for protection for the rest..."
My unspoken belief in my youthful ignorance was that if I "did everything right" and stayed in God's will for my life that I would be "safe" and blessed... In my mind that meant no pain or sorrow or difficulties in my marriage, no loss of jobs, difficulty in paying bills, no heartbreak in relationships, loss of pregnancies... and certainly no loss of my husband or fatherless sons & daughter....
That verse in Job somewhat frustrated and annoyed me, "...God why would you put that in Your word... What a fatalistic view of life... What a depressing verse!"
Last week I "happened" to read the verses following again and it was as if my eyes were opened and I saw the rest of what God was saying and it was a "light bulb" moment!
“...But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you. In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes. You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals. For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”
As I look back over my life and the heartbreaks & losses we have encountered and the journey I am still walking of daily sadness in missing my best friend, the overwhelming weight of caring for and providing for this little family alone and then experiencing my children's pain that is still so sharp at times...
I find a quiet smile lifting my lips and peace reigning as I read these amazingly encouraging verses and rejoice as I can truly attest to the absolute veracity of these words!!
I have seen and known the complete faithfulness & goodness of God - so undeserved on my part! And I know that I will continue to "...see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living..." Psalm 27:13
I want to encourage you, my dear friends, as perhaps you face the "sparks of trouble" or the long, long nights as you journey... that you not give up heart. Wait on the Lord! Allow God to adjust your viewpoint to His perspective and rest in the joy that He offers to His children!
at 10:01:00 PM