I know, by faith, that I am about to turn the corner. I am deeply convinced and incredibly thankful for that. God has made sure I see the sign post on the side of the road warning me about the upcoming course change.
However, while I walk forward, I hear the gentle voice of God’s spirit whispering in my ear: “don’t rush through the curb, slow down, and make sure that you have absorbed all the lessons while on this side of the road”.
And that got me thinking about my friend, Job in the Bible. He is described as a righteous man,
Job 1:1 “…This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”
Yet Job suffered many afflictions, such as:
Losing property and children: The Sabeans took Job’s oxen and donkeys, killing his servants tending to the animals. The Chaldeans took Job’s camels, killing his servants who were with them. Fire from heaven burned up Job’s sheep and more servants. A great wind killed all of Job’s children by causing the collapse of his oldest son’s house where they had been eating and drinking together.
Physical ailment: Job was afflicted physically with loathsome sores from head to toe. According to Pubmed, this is likely a bad case of scabies. The affliction was terrible enough that his family wouldn’t approach him due to the horror and smell caused by the sores.
Rejection by family and friends: Job’s wife encouraged him to curse God. Job friends’ belief was that Job was suffering because he had done something wrong. As a result, they tried to convince him to admit his wrong and repent so that God would bless him again (God dealt with Job’s friends later on and confronted them about their misunderstanding of Him).
How are you being afflicted today? I know what difficulties I am currently facing. Unlike Job, many of them are the result of my own disobedience to God. Yet, even in the case of righteous Job, God used the difficult circumstances in his life to bring about repentance.I find comfort in knowing that the suffering of God’s children is never ignored by Him. He uses every single one of these opportunities to teach us a lesson. Consequently, each one of our trials, yes every single one of them is an opportunity for us to learn.
When Job came face to face with God, he let go of his own pride. He was transformed from an attitude of ‘questioning God for the reason of his afflictions’ to falling on his face in true repentance and awe of the almighty.
The lesson for me the past few days is in allowing God to come down and truly take this time to enrich me with a greater knowledge of Him. I want Him to create a change(s) in my heart and my life. As I am being pressed and formed, I pray for me. But I also pray for you:
God helps us not to squirm away from the pressure we are under. Help us to avoid taking the first exit door that opens up, or to resolve the problem(s) in our own way. Just as righteous Job held steady and sought your face, just as your perfect son Jesus did not run out of the garden of Gethsemane, let us learn to yield to your Holy Spirit, patiently and with the conviction that you are gracious and will make good of the trials and hardships we are facing.
Whether it is our fault or not, whether we brought the hardships upon ourselves or not, let us seek His face, allow Him to speak and question us. Let us walk with Him and not ahead of Him. Once we’ve turned that corner, we really don’t want to have to look back and regret not having done so.
II Cor 1:3-5 (NIV) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”