Monday, September 23, 2013

Spiritually sore and the story of Job

"I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you" Job 42:5

The Lord has been teaching me so much lately-and in different ways than He ever has before.  Like the deep soreness of my muscles after a long overdue workout, I feel the pain of growth on my soul.  It's a good pain.  A reminder that God has been working on a spiritual muscle of mine that I didn't even know I had.  Much like Job.

Confession:  I hate reading Job!  For many reasons.  First, because he had 10 kids that were taken away from him.  That hits way too close to home.  Second, because I cringe as I read the response of his friends...chapter after chapter after chapter.  I always want to just skip to the part where God finally speaks and resolves this whole sad matter.  But, God has given me a new love lately for Job and this great book in His Word.  You see, it is all necessary to set the stage for God's great work in Job's life and in ours.  Much like the labor of reading chapter after chapter of God's requirements for sacrifices in the days of the Israelites in the desert compared with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we need to see the contrast in order to see the Glory of God!

After Job has wept, mourned and worshipped God in his trial, his wife has told him to curse God and die, and his friends have all tried to find the answers to the why's- God speaks!  Verse after verse God reminds Job of who He is, of His character and His sovereignty over all things.  It is through the divine words of God that Job's eyes are opened and he begins to feel the pain of spiritual growth.  After he confesses and repents, he says, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you" (42:5 ESV).  Through a sermon by my husband on the Majesty and Character of God, the LORD moved in my heart and gave me a great love for Job and his story.   At the beginning of the book of Job we see that he was "blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil."  He knew of God, he loved God and he lived an upright life in fear of God.  God, in His divine sovereignty, allowed the enemy to test Job.  Here came Job's spiritual workout...growth.  Because of this testing Job was given new spiritual muscles that he never knew he could have.  Now, not only had he heard of God, he now could "see" Him.

How many times have I "seen" God in a new way due to a trial or difficulty?  How many times have I fallen on my knees and cried out to God in a situation that was hopeless, only to rise with new spiritual eyes and a strength that can only come by being weak and helpless before the Almighty?  Yes, God is present in our plenty and in our joy, but it is through trial that we gain deep spiritual strength. And it is the next morning-when we feel the soreness of that spiritual exercise-that we truly "see" God.

Thank you, Lord, for the example of Job.  May I be found blameless and upright before You.  May I endure divine trial and hardship with your strength.  May others "see" you because of it.