Monday, March 16, 2009

Job's Reply...

There are nine chapters in the book of Job that speak of the advice, "comfort" and judgement that Job's friends came to present to Job in his despair. In answer to them, I counted 19 chapters of Job's various replies to his friends' words. This is what I'm going to try and briefly focus on for the next few entries -

Job 6:2,3 - "If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—no wonder my words have been impetuous."

These three friends had come in and tried to wrap up Job's pain in one neat and tidy package. The things is, to be a good counselor requires enormous timing, great wisdom, a long rope, and great understanding. Job is pleading for all of that as he asks his friend to consider what he's been through. "I don't think you'd say these things, Eliphaz, if you sat where I sit." There are times when others' words only make our troubles worse. They're not evil people, they just don't have sufficient understanding, so their advice becomes skewed.

Job 6:8-10 - "All I want is an answer to one prayer, a last request to be honored:Let God step on me—squash me like a bug, and be done with me for good.I'd at least have the satisfaction of not having blasphemed the Holy God, before being pressed past the limits."

Job needed to hear from God himself, so he openly questioned God. God doesn't mind our search for understanding. It's okay to approach Him and ask Him "why?" when it comes to the heartbreak and tragedies we experience. Just make sure you can accept His answer ~

John 9:2,3 - "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, " said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

Instead of continuing to ask, "Why?" would you change your question to "For what purpose?" And then continue to trust God even if the miracle does not come in the way You think it should.

Job 9:17-18 - As it is, he knocks me about from pillar to post, beating me up, black-and-blue, for no good reason.He won't even let me catch my breath, piles bitterness upon bitterness.

In 2002, I had experienced my 2nd miscarriage, and was experiencing my "Job moment" , or so I thought. Little did I know that it was only just beginning. The miscarriage in February only began what I have labeled in the past as my true "Job Experience", for shortly thereafter, my brother, a police officer in a small town, was being accused of taking part in something that was so incredibly insane - we, his family could only shake our heads and wonder when the stupidity would finally end. Not any time soon. His job was at stake, his reputation tarnished, and if the truth didn't come out, there was a serious possibility of jail time. "While this was happening" (sound familiar?), I had still another miscarriage - losing our third child. Recovering from that, and at the same time learning way more than any woman should have to know about her own fertility...because all of that just wasn't enough in our lives, we received a phone call late one night letting us know that my step-dad had been killed in a freak car accident on his way home that day. Yes, 2002 was not my "Job Moment". It was my "Job EXPERIENCE"!

I felt like Job in the above verses - beaten up, black and blue, and no time to catch my breath before the next thing hit.

In chapter 12, Job shows us that even amidst the calamity in his life, he still knows what's going on . He had no answer to why he was being made to suffer, but he knows that somehow and in someway, even though God seemed to be absent from his world, HE IS STILL IN CONTROL! There is no research of report that can outweigh God's opinion. No scientific discovery or medical advance that surprises Him. When we look for guidance, we must recognize that God's wisdom is superior to any the world has to offer!

I spent 5 months going through fertility test after fertility test to figure out why my body was betraying me. As a self-proclaimed "internet junkie', I scoured the world wide web while I was going through tests to figure out what was being done to me, why it was being done, and what the answer would tell me. I needed to know why, and I knew that somewhere, someone could explain it to me, and if I had to obtain a medical degree to understand it, I would do it.

In the end, there was no explanation - at least not a medical one. My doctor's words were, "Everything is good, go out and get pregnant!" (Easy for a man to say!) Why we had to go through the heartbreak and loss of those three babies is deeper than any medical reason, and I know that one day it will be completely revealed to me. But at that point, when I heard the doctor say, "Everything is good", I could rejoice in simply knowing that there was nothing medically to prevent me from bringing my 2nd child into this world.

Nancy Guthrie - Holding On To Hope
Charles Swindoll - Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance

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