This week’s reading: Job 8-31
I must admit that this week’s reading was challenging. Leaving the story telling mode of Genesis and moving onto Job’s struggles and prose.
Last week, I was impacted by Job’s friends…how they sat with him for seven days and nights and were silent because they could see his suffering (2:13)…but then by the next chapter they began to launch their individual missiles his way. I was convicted regarding my friendships; I want to make sure that I am encouraging and not pointing a finger at what I can’t figure out on my own. Do I grow weary if the ever-present sufferer before me? I hope not.
This week, as each day were comprised of a litany of Job’s friends accusations and faulty theories to explain away his plight…it was much like a leaky faucet…the constant dripping became almost unbearable…they just continue to drone on and on. Constant suffering can be unbearable but when those close to you choose condemnation instead of comfort it must be intolerable.
Over the course of the last couple of weeks, Carl and I have pushed the rewind button on our lives over the past 5 years. I am sure that if any one of you did this…I would have plenty of company related to the struggles, trials and unanticipated hardships that came our ways. There were unexpected deaths, illnesses, stepping down from church leadership just to mention a few. It’s good to look back to see that you survived but also to witness afresh how the hand of God blanketed our lives. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have lost all of my worldly possessions, my children and then my health and became a social outcast. But these are the words of Job that linger in my mind as I have plodded through the readings this week: The kind of friend Job would be if he could switch places with Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar:
”But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.”
Job 16:5 Despite his condition, he declares:
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”
Job 13: 15
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Job 19: 25-27
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”
Job 23: 10-12
This past Friday, my mother called with news that my dad was being taken by ambulance to the hospital where he spent several weeks 2 summers ago (he had fainted twice in the last few days)…if you don’t know the story…I can tell you at another time but in short he had a kidney stone and through a serious of complications and reactions he was life flighted for emergency open heart surgery and by the laws of this world he should have died but the by the hand of God and the prayers of the saints he survived. This phone call sent shock waves through me…what now? What if something bad happens again…what if he doesn’t make it this time…how can any of us bear to go through this again…yet the steady hand of Jesus held me tight…and once again the prayers of his saints got busy…many of those from my fellow cover to cover participants. I am so grateful…at this point, it looks like pneumonia but they will do an angiogram today to check his heart and if all goes well he and my mom will travel home. May God be praised!!
God allowed Job’s life to be touched in the same way that He allows us to walk through hardship…here is what Job says about his God:
“ Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.
My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God…”
Job 16: 19,20
So despite feeling a bit undone by the past week of spending time with Job and his friends and having a bit of a personal undoing…I want to remember that no matter what God calls me to endure in this life that He has given me…
It is important to focus on the never changing character and nature of God during times where your current reality has changed and the things that you hear and see war with what makes sense…focus on who God is and always will be…
Until next Monday…feel free to join me…leave me a comment if you want the reading list…it is never too late to get into God’s Word…
P.S. The Library listed at the top of this blog now not only includes what I am reading these days but it has the reading guide for January…check it out and see that it is not a huge time commitment…and it is more fun doing it together…alright…done with the sales pitch…lol.