So, Job is not one of those books of the Bible that most people just pick up and begin to read. In fact, I tend to read it most when I am really struggling. Finally after the last few months of feeling far from God and wondering where myself actually went, I am slowly beginning to feel like my old self again. I feel God. I feel His closeness. I know He was never far from me. In fact, I'm sure He was holding me, perhaps so tightly that I couldn't even feel it. So, I decided to pick up my Bible and read through the book of Job. Here are a few lessons learned this read.
~When the worst happened and Job lost all of his children and belongings, He still had strength and faith enough to bless the name of the Lord. In fact those were some of the first words out of his mouth. That's strong faith. I want that kind of faith.
~When his friends didn't know what to say (at least at first) because the situation was so horrible, they just sat with him. They didn't speak for a week. They just sat with him. Sometimes this is all somebody needs when they are going through a horrible time. They just need you to physically be there. No words needed.
~But Job is human like the rest of us and wished he could just die to avoid all the pain. He cries out time and time again questioning God. I'm a firm believer in not questioning that God is God and is in control. But you better bet if I was in Job's situation I'd probably ask "Why?" a time or two. I'd look straight up to Heaven and ask it directly of my Redeemer. Because there are just things this side of Heaven that we humans cannot comprehend.
~ In the midst of Job's questioning, He reminds himself of God's goodness and strength. "I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God".
~Sometimes all we can do is repeat over and over to ourselves that we know our Redeemer lives and when we die we will see Him.
~Then it's God's turn to question Job. And He tells Job to "prepare yourself like a man". Sometimes God's questions to us are tough, but very needed. And we may just have to take it "like a man".
~I am always intrigued by the part where God asked Job if he'd ever commanded the morning. I mean, how can you argue with the one who rises and sets the sun and purposefully and gracefully positioned each star?
~God also asked Job if he'd "seen the shadow of death". I think of God thinking of Jesus. I guess compared to Christ and his journey to the cross, most of us haven't really seen that shadow.
~After this round of questioning Job is speechless, even putting his hand over his mouth. Then God tells him yet again to "prepare yourself like a man". He has more questions and Job is to answer.
~Job's answer is basically this: "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you". Would Job have been able to really see God as he did now if he hadn't gone through the most awful, horrible situation? For we hear of God and we read of Him, but we truly know Him when we've been at our lowest with Him. When it's not pretty and when God is the only one we'd let see us like this.
Lots to ponder about this...