“But if you will look to God and make your supplication to the Almighty, 6 if you become pure and upright, even now He will rouse himself for you and will restore your righteous abode. 7 Your beginning will seem so small, since your future will flourish.”
Sitting in handcuffs, dazed and shocked, I wondered how this could happen to me. I was innocent. But in that moment the LORD spoke to me clearly. “Guilty by association”. Associating with one who had lied to me and placed me in a mess. You’re a modern day Job, lady”, the police officer told me sarcastically, yet laced with compassion. Me? Job? No, I could not compare my sufferings with his. Or could I?
Life has some crazy turns in it – many we would rather avoid, but traveling down those roads leads us to unexpected places with cherished lessons learned. Job’s counselors all speculated that some hidden sin caused his demise. Why would a good God allow such suffering in, after all? I am sure Joseph felt similarly. He was only prophesying what God placed in his heart, only to find himself at the bottom of a well and then a betrayed slave. What was God thinking?
Staring at the spot on the ceiling of my hospital room, I wondered how I got there, too. Worried faces of doctors unsure of what to say, I laid there and trusted. Patiently. In the midst of that hard place, a resolve began to form that was not from me. Even in that horrid place, God spoke to me. Would I be willing to let Him use me in this way? Yes, God.
Back to Job. He questioned himself, examined what could be the cause of such difficulty in his life. He did not know that Satan had asked if he could mess around with his life. Job’s chief sin was in doubting God and in justifying himself rather than God. When we cannot figure out what God is doing, we can cry out to God to trust Him and place our faith in Him. Lack of understanding is not wrong, but doubting God’s goodness and purposes are. Introspection at times of confusion is a great gift – an opportunity to pause and clarify our lives before God.
In the end, God blessed Job more than he was before. Sometimes we cling to what we knew as the past, wondering if we will ever see God’s goodness again. Our view of the past just might not be all that we thought it was, either. God has new heights, new blessings for us. His idea of a blessing might be different than ours, but He and His ways are always good.
Lord, when we don’t understand, help us to draw near to You and to trust You fully. Be glorified in our mess – You Who makes sense of everything, almighty, sovereign LORD!