(Today's post by Tim David)
I’ve been through my share of adversity. Most recently, the loss of two unborn babies haunts me. Losing wealth – that can be replaced. Losing flesh and blood is something that can’t be conceived. I would love to let you know that I just “got over it.” I would love to tell you that God comforted me and His love overwhelmed my soul, vacating my sorrow, but I would be lying. Life is tough, that is a fact. Then to complicate things, you get saved – and you gain an enemy who “seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.” Tough times come along and some friends will say, “Life is tough, deal with it.” Others say, “Be thankful for what you have. Just focus on what God’s given you.” (This is the worst possible advice because then you dwell on what you lost and what it could have become in the future.) Yet, others don’t know what to say and say (anyway), “I’ll pray for you.” (I’m not saying this is a wrong response, it just can feel “clinical” and cold.) Finally, there are some who don’t say anything – they see you from across a room or in a hallway and they just hug you. For a split second you know that they are carrying your burden with you.
Personally, as you grapple with what is happening, you start questioning, “What did I do to deserve this?” But then what kind of God do I serve whose actions are dependent on me and what I do or don’t do? Really, is God that limited?…of course He isn’t. There is a sovereignty that sometimes doesn’t intervene to prevent, I don’t understand why – but I don’t have to in order to believe.
Job’s lost is incalculable, that’s a fact, Jack! Give Job credit, though, he let his friend know what he did to him. To summarize chapters 6-7, Job is losing a friend and REALLY wants God to take him off the face of the earth. That kind of desperation comes when you feel as though God has turned His back on you and there is no one you can talk to. All of that being said, Job never curses God. He wonders, rightly so, what he’s done to deserve this, but he’s not going to get an answer. There is no reason, he didn’t do anything to deserve it…God just didn’t prevent it from happening. Could God have stepped in and stopped what was going on?
Job is coming out of this knowing who his friends are, and who they aren’t. Job simply needed someone who was going to let him grieve and question God knowing that his faith wasn’t going to waver. Satan was allowed to take everything away from Job and in chapter 5, he started to take away Job’s friends – one by one…chapter 6 is Job realizing it. Chapter 7 is Job letting God know how he felt. Tears are welling up in my eyes as I write this knowing how I’ve felt for the past 10 months. Do what you want to me, but don’t rob from my family. There is not only immediate loss here – but future potential “snuffed out.” In these chapters, Job is starting to lose his “support system” and now he is all alone – completely exposed to the “elements” of Satan’s fury without any protection or support.
Takeaways are these:
1. If you know someone going through something tough – I mean tough – stand with them. One of the only reasons I can write you today is a band of brothers who lifted me up. There weren’t many placating words of affirmation – just gritty syllables of resolution….”We are going to get through this.”
2. If you are in the middle of something – know this, God can take it. Getting angry with God doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. In fact, I think it means the opposite…you can’t get angry with something you don’t have faith exists! God’s shoulders are big enough to take our emotions, but know He didn’t do it to you.
3. Job examined himself, then he asked God to examine him, and then he asked his “friends” to examine him…he was found blameless. I guarantee you, we would be reading something completely different if there was something there. So if you are convicted of something, confess it right away. Don’t let something stand between you and success!
If you are a Christian, you are called to an abundant life. Life being tough doesn’t mean you aren’t right where you are supposed to be. Examine yourself and know you are child of the everlasting King. You will fight – you will taste defeat – but when you rise up on “wings like eagles” you will enter into a life of great reward. Job longed for death in order to ease his worldly pain – doesn’t sound like a man losing faith, just sounds like a wounded warrior.