“Because the Lord often withholds explanation for our pain, we must not look at suffering as though it is some divine gimmick designed to teach us some important life lesson. That would make too little of the reality. God’s people do not walk through suffering toward the moral of the story. Rather, we walk toward the eternal presence of the Maker and Lover of our souls. This I must remember.”
Russ Ramsey from Struck
Happy Friday! March is passing out the door today, may we all release a collective sigh? Once again she shows herself in all her fickle glory with lightening displays, rattling thunder, and driving rain. Lola and I are scooched close together, feeding off one another’s jumpiness. Weather alarms screech from my phone.
Today’s word: Define
My Sweet Man and I have been reading the book of Job the past few weeks. We all know Job’s story, one moment he’s living a comfortable, successful life. In an instant, everything changes. Job loses his children, his livelihood, his wealth, and his own health.
Job is afflicted on all fronts, and without much support. His wife berates him, baiting him to abandon God. His friends sat in silence with him for seven days. By the eighth day they have begun their own accusations.
Job is not without complaints. Not without questions and demands for answers.
I can relate to Job. Can you?
When I am having a bad day, when fear and uncertainty snakes its way in to my soul, I too, am prone to demand answers. Crying out, “Why?” “Why the thing that has no end?” “How much more I am expected to suffer?”
Thirty-seven chapters Job cries out why.
In chapter thirty-eight a whirlwind blows through, and in the midst we find God. He doesn’t show up and answer the “Why?”.
God gives Job the Who.
In four chapters, Job is brought to his knees, not with the answers, but with the Who.
When I am hurting and crying out, “Where are you God?”, I find myself turning to those very chapters. As Job, I don’t get the answers, but I get the Who.
At the end of the day, which one would I rather have? Which one would you rather have?
Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I-and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!’ I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’
I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said. Job 42: 1-6 (NLT)
In the midst of his suffering and complaining, Job said these words:
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;” Job 13: 15a (NIV)
Am I willing to be defined, by a faith like Job’s. “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.”
This is how I want to spend my days, hoping in Him no matter the outcome.
How I want to be defined.
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Gifts of Grace