Thursday, June 5, 2014

Job 17-21

Job is suffering beyond our imagination (Job 17-21).  This farmer, husband, father, and friend is a faithful follower.  And through his suffering, he focuses on God.  Job continues to defend himself against the "wisdom" and accusations of his friends.  We continue to see how this conversation is another source of struggle and pain for Job.  We also can't help but notice that God is especially glorified through the struggle.

This exchange between Job and his friends is frustrating to read.  I know Job is in desperate need of comfort and encouragement.  And most of all, Job would love some relief, healing, and renewal right now.

I started thinking more about "wisdom" in this world as I read today.  Job's friends are known for being "wise."  And yet, Job knows from experience that they couldn't be more wrong in their thinking.  

They mean well, but they are lost in the assumption that a healthy, prosperous, and successful life is a clear indication that God is happy with the way we are thinking and living.  And so if we aren't healthy, prosperous, and obviously successful, we must be unfaithful in some way or many.  It's judgement based on appearances at its worst.

Job tells his friends as they continue to make assumptions,

“But come on, all of you, try again!

    I will not find a wise man among you.
My days have passed, my plans are shattered.
    Yet the desires of my heart
turn night into day;
    in the face of the darkness light is near.

I read this and think to myself, "Lord, where do I need to try again in my thinking?"

The truth is, we can never judge a book by it's cover.  Really, we aren't called to judge, we are called to follow.  We are called to faith like Jesus'.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Wisdom is a gift from God.  

I am reminded that the more I am willing to be still and ask God for His wisdom in my life situations, the more He can use me to shine His light in the darkness to love and comfort others.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for sharing Your perfect wisdom with Your believers.  

Forgive me for assuming all too often that I know the "right way" to do things and the "right way" to think about things.  

Help me slow down and turn to You in humility in all of my interactions with others.  

Work in me to let go of my own stubbornness.  I pray for the true wisdom that only comes from You.  Open my heart, Lord, to receive and follow Your way and be grateful for the power of Your presence that is able to move mountains and work all things for good and Your glory.

I praise You that even in my struggles You continue to bless me.

Make me more like Jesus who shows me by example how to focus my time and energy on living a life of love.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,

Love and peace of Christ,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.


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