From Shaken to Firm

This is it….

I have crawled into my husbands closet with two bibles, two books, a pen and a pencil, and a cup of coffee at 7:02 on a Thursday night.

I feel like the mom in Moms Night Out who’s husband comes home to find her clutching an empty bag of chocolate watching birds on the internet!

I must disclose it was not my intention to emulate a movie.

My husband in his GREAT LOVE for me, took our children to the grocery store to give me some cool down time.

At their exit I grabbed my coffee, computer, and bibles/books desperately seeking a place of quiet from my four month old Great Pyrenees puppy, drying in a round pin after a bath, who was incessantly barking at our four month old cat tauntingly crouched in a chair just outside the cage.

My intention was to retreat to my bedroom, but for some reason I proceed straight through my bedroom and into the bathroom and then straight into my husbands closet!

The only conclusion I can come to as to why I am here is because my subconscious was trying to get as far away from this crazy, noise filled day as possible!

When I am weary my focus goes to God. I’m thankful for this for two reasons. One, safety for others, otherwise I would blow my top. Two, He is the only one who has the answer to every situation I have ever dealt with.

This leads me to why I’ve disclosed such a low moment. JOB.

Not the J-O-B that has us using that four letter word “WORK”.

I’m speaking of JOB the man. The one in the bible that lost everything; who’s wife and friends turned their backs. Job, a man in distress, suffering great loss on every side…death, finances, security, shelter. The one who has torn his clothes, shaved his head, and is sitting in ashes.

Honestly…I’m not sure I have or will ever be in a position of such distress where I would tear my clothes and shave my head. I might not bath for a month, but I wouldn’t strip naked and shave all my hair off. If you heard of someone acting like that, you would say they went all Britney Spears and need “special, white coat” attention.

Job, in all this, never once blames God….however, he did do A LOT of complaining and questioning.

Listen as Job cries out and holds nothing back in Job 10:1-22…

“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to poorest me, to spurn the work of your hands while you smile on the schemes of the wicked? Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees? Are your days like those of a mortal or your years like those of a man, that you must search out my faults though you know that I am not guilty and that no one can resume me from your hand? Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. But this is what you concealed in your heart, and I know that this was in your mind: If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished. If I am guilty – woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction. If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion and again display your awesome power against me. You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave. Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me. If only I had never come into bring, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave! Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy before I go the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow, to the land of deepest night, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is like darkness.”

So….free speaking Job, lets go of all that rested heavy on his heart.

Have you ever done that?

“Lord, I’m tired, I’m PMS’ING, and at the moment…I can’t figure out for the life of me why I ever decided to have kids, please help them CALM DOWN before I duck tape them to the wall and eat a bucket of ice-cream in front of them!”

“God, you need to do something about this husband you “yoked” me too, because if he doesn’t wise up – I’m going to yank a knot in that donkey’s tale!”

“Father, I am so thankful you gave me this amazing job opportunity BUT if you don’t remove that loud mouth at work I might do something we both will regret.”

Now, I know YOU have NEVER made any complaints to the Lord like that?! Right?

I am ashamed, as was Job, to admit that I have made declarations of complaints before the Lord. Asking Him, begging Him, to withdraw the painfulness of whatever I was experiencing at the time. Honestly, on my worse day I am no where near the painfulness of Job…and if he didn’t have the right to complain before God…why do I?

But, complaining isn’t really the issue…I know I have driven a lot of attention towards it, but it’s not the point I want to rest on. It would be rather religious of me to tell you to not ever have a complaint about something again. Things happen all the time we don’t like and I know that the Lord understands that. For this reason I want to jump ahead in the story…to Chapter 40 where God speaks and Job shuts up!

God responds and tells Job to give an account of why he has questioned God and called himself so just. Job fumbles with regret and humility as God begins to speak, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” (vs 7) God goes on to explain to Job that he has no power and no might and is in fact unjust and sinful. In verse 15 God called Job to look at the behemoth which he made, the behemoths strength and power were far greater than even a raging river and no one can capture him.

In chapter 41 God continues by talking about another creature he called the leviathan…no one could capture him and if someone got close they would not survive or regret their interaction with this animal. This creature has fearsome teeth and a back with rows of shields so tightly sealed together and not even air could pass between them. To top that off God speaks of this creature as having no weaknesses, there was literally no way to defeat him, and that the mighty ran in fear of him.

Why did God go through all the trouble to talk about these fearsome, massive, and dangerous creatures? God was making a point to Job that He was in control and bigger than the scariest situation. Even the fiercest creatures that walked the earth were no match for the one who created them. In short, He was telling Job that absolutely everything was subject to His rule.

Jobs response in chapter 42, verses 1-6 is priceless…”I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscured my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ear had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Is the transition from haughty to humble not amazing. It didn’t happen over time, it happened all at once!! God wan’t getting-on-to Job because he was complaining, he got on to Job because he spoke about God in a manner he did not understand. He wanted Job to know how big He was, how powerful he was, how just he was…he wanted Job to know that He had never lost control of any circumstance, no matter how bad it might seem.

I love how my KJV Study Bible sums it up, “God has redirected Job to fall back on the things he knows about God instead of coming up with foolish conclusions about life’s situations.”

When days get rough, when life happens, when we have “Job moments”…we have to fall back on what we know about God……

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” —2 Timothy 1:7

………………………………

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. –1 Thessalonians 5:18

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. — Ephesians 6:16

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