Big Job, Big God

While I admit to being pretty serious at heart, I also laugh at both myself
as well as much of the world around me.

Then again… there's that old Book of Job! Well… I'm only slightly smiling
as I write this 🙂

If you've never read it or need a refresher, the main point is the devil has
to ask God permission to tempt Job. God allows him but also places boundaries
on what satan can do.

One of slewfoot's comments is simply that God has so blessed Job in so many
ways, so of course he's following the Lord. He goes on to tell God if a load
of calamity comes into his life Job would surely curse and deny God.

However you might like to accept this writing as a sort of Jewish mindset
and rationale for pain and misery in this world- or if, like myself, you
happen to believe it really happened as reported by the writer, either way
it's an interesting thing to consider.

It seems obvious God either orchestrates or at very least allows some pretty
horrific things to happen in -some- people's lives. Perhaps not yours or
mine. Perhaps not today or not yet. But what about tomorrow?

Does God exist? Does He truly love us when pain and suffering arrive at our
doorstep, in our family, in our physical body, in our church, workplace,
nation?

I believe the answer to both questions is YES.

I fully admit I WANT to believe this, but I also know (as you, dear reader) a
few other things:

We can be certain we don't and largely cannot control nature, the weather,
natural disasters and such.

We can be certain we have limited control over anyone in terms of how they act
toward us. For example, there is no perfect "fail safe" safety net that can
completely protect us from terrorism.

We can be certain that as wonderful as science and medical research is that
there will always be illnesses confronting humanity.

Lastly we can be certain that nobody is fully loving, kind, gracious and
giving each and every moment! That is, all of us -sin-. That word simply means
"missing the mark". We fail at measuring up to the utterly holy and pure
nature of the God Who created us to be loved and love one another.

All of this boils down to the fact that you may not believe God IS… you
may not believe He loves you or is present with you IN the pain and suffering,
you may even believe He somehow and for some reason beyond our understanding
WANTS you to be miserable… but we can be certain (if only due to the things
I've listed above) WE ON OUR OWN and apart from Him live an extremely
fragile and often difficult life on this planet!

I have found Him faithful to both deliver me as well as to carry me through
the storms He permits.

Like millions of other Christians I have realized that a great deal of my
own spiritual growth and maturity has come from the struggles and the pains
of life, not only (or I would even say percentage-wise… LESS than from) the
bright sunny, blue-sky and ice-cream days.

That has been an experience so many of us have shared.

You have to be in need of mental medication if you seek pain and misery. But
you need at the very least, authentic spiritual medication (the Bible, prayer,
godly confidants, confession of your miss-steps and weakness, humility) in
order to truly make it through this "veil of tears".

Recently past in Canada, Thanksgiving also just came around again in the U.S..

I find it difficult to thank God when living for myself. How about you?

I find it very difficult to be at peace inside when I choose my own way
rather than the way of Jesus Christ. Is this familiar to you also?

Job (see The Book of Job in the Bible) suffered far beyond what most any of us
ever will, and in most every point kept his heart right in terms of relationship to God.
He didn't do it perfectly, but in the end after a humbling correction from the Lord, God
blessed him fully beyond all he had been graced with earlier.

For many- this very day- boils (Job's ongoing affliction not to mention his
entire family and fortune being wiped out in near-instant time) would be the
least of our real issues.

When we refuse to be satisfied with God's answer to our need we often create
a false God to fill in for Him. This heaps misery on top of misery.

Where is your (or my) heart, right now?

Is God your God… or is there someone or something else taking His place in
your life?

Have you decided (as Job's wife counseled him) to basically "curse God and
die" unless you get your wish for healing and deliverance?

When we decide to judge God as though we are wiser, better and stronger- and
yes, more "righteous" than He is, we're setting ourselves up for an unreality
that will NEVER be our Savior. Only Jesus is sufficient in trouble. Only Him.

I come to Him today for mercy, grace and strength. I come to Him because I
need Him. I come to Him because He alone is God.

I continue to come to Him regardless of the struggles, pains and injustices
of this world.

I come to Him because of all these things as well!

He says "COME to me". This, I have found, is the place of rest in the middle
of what is at times, a very painful, difficult world.

Praying for those in the middle of the mess, post-hurricane, for those lonely,
perhaps a first holiday with a loved one absent, for so many in hospital. He is
a "very present help in trouble". Emmanuel comes!

Mercy Lord! -Glenn

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