I know, I know, part 2 is a bit of a stretch. It’s been a year. More than a year. In that time, though, that’s what God’s been teaching me. So there you go.
The month of March was awful. Awful is an understatement. It was a month in my life that I’ll never forget and hope never to relive. It was the kind of month that makes one start comparing oneself to Job. March was a month that included a murder & a Japanese earthquake/tsunami and ended with almost being carjacked. Granted, those first things didn’t happen to me directly, but they happened to dear friends who I admire, love & pray for. The carjacking, though, that was me. You know it’s been a rough month when a guy’s trying to forcibly remove you from your vehicle, and the thoughts that run through your head are “I so don’t have time for this” and “my friends and family can NOT deal with this right now.”
So…Job. I really started thinking a lot about Job. What I thought is how ridiculous it is to compare ourselves to Job. I mean, really?!?! His entire livelihood, family, & health were destroyed and his friends and remaining loved ones advised him to curse God & die. As bad my March was, as apocalyptic and dark as it seemed at times, it didn’t come close to Job status.
That, though, isn’t why the comparison is ridiculous. That comes at the very beginning: Job 1:1, “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Blameless, upright, feared God & shunned evil. God reiterates that (verbatim) when he describes Job in 1:8, “Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.'” Oh that God would describe me in such a way! Blameless, upright, feared God & shunned evil. On my very best days, I’m 2 out of 4.
April, thus far, has been pretty fantastic. As opposite of March as possible. It’s been filled with family, friends, laughter, baseball, great food…I even won 2 tickets to Jazz Fest in a twitter picture contest. Life is good, but it was good in March. It was just hard. God is good, but He has been good since before time began and will continue to be good.
There are going to be times when life is hard…seemingly, impossibly hard. There won’t always be reasons for us to understand. If we’re going to compare ourselves to Job, though, we need to at least take away the lessons he learned. God spends chapters 40 & 41 calling Job out for whining about not understanding it all. In the end, Job’s response in 42:2-3 is this: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”
This life that I’m living? It’s not mine. Good or inexplicably horrible, it’s not mine. It’s God’s…and He is good, and He is God, and His overarching plan for the world is more wonderful than I can understand. I get to be a part of that. My new prayer is that in life’s “Job” moments (and they’re going to come), I’ll have Job-like faith.