I started this blog/project full of the good intentions at the beginning of any good thing. I was going to drive into a healthier, more spiritual and loving future in my pink cadillac of blogginess. I did, for a bit, until I looked down and saw the flames. My tires were burnt off and the rims were sparking, the friction of the reality of my journey too much to bear. The cadillac ended up in a ditch.
This entry is a tow truck of sorts. It’s reaching into the ditch and pulling me out. It’s setting me back on the road. The sparkly pink cadillac parked for now. I sit, on the roadside of this journey, in a comfy recliner, wrapped in my boo-boo blankie.
I’ll address exactly what pushed me off the road in another entry. For tonight, I’ll share what pulled me out. Job did the job. Say that three times. Job did the job.
Job is that martyr in the Old Testament. He’s the one God and Satan made a bet upon to see who would win. In my head, Satan chest bumps God and says, “Watch this!” and then proceeds to throw Job’s life into the cosmic cuisinart. Job has always been preached as a sort of cautionary tale against feeling sorry for yourself. “Look at Job! He lost everything and STILL honored God! What’s your problem?”
I always was more than a little puzzled by this. God, sort of, hung Job out to dry. Doesn’t square with my image of the squishy Huggie Bear version of the Almighty.
The last three years have been a Job experience in my life. Death, debt, loss, judgements by friends, failure, illness have all made me understand Job’s journey all too well. However, I never read the chapter of Job until recently. What I am finding there is surprisingly encouraging.
To say Job went through hell and back is a colossal understatement. His children were killed while partying. His fortunes were lost. His skin and body were afflicted to the point where worms lived in the sores. His friends were judgmental and his wife wished he was dead.
I had been taught Job was this long-suffering Persian Pollyanna who, whilst scraping the pus from his sores, would bless God. He didn’t. He complained. He cursed the day he was born. He begged to die. He suffered and shared his suffering with us through scripture. He was just as stuck as I am.
Job 9:32-35 (MSG) “God and I are not equals; I can’t bring a case against him.
We’ll never enter a courtroom as peers.
How I wish we had an arbitrator
to step in and let me get on with life—
To break God’s death grip on me,
to free me from this terror so I could breathe again.
Then I’d speak up and state my case boldly.
As things stand, there is no way I can do it.”
In the Amplified version it speaks of an Umpire to lay hands on both God and Job. How much I longed for someone to blow the whistle on my playing field of pain.
Two truths emerged for me. God is God and I am not. Simplistic to be sure, but I really got it this time. He is who He is and I am who I am. We will never be equals, this Creator of the Universe and I. He is so much MORE than I. He demands so much more than I can give. He has a right to these things, because He created them.
The second truth, I am not Job. I am not alone. I have an arbitrator. Timothy wrote it best.
1 Timothy:4-7(MSG) “He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.”
Jesus is my Umpire. He blows the whistle and sets me free. Doesn’t mean I will never suffer. Doesn’t say that. What it does say is that my freedom from the suffering works by simple faith and plain truth. Simple. Plain. I can do that.
I can do that and so can you. So tonight, I choose to place simple faith in this plain truth. Someone gave Himself in my place so I could be free.
All the pain, all the suffering, all the loss will somehow be part of my freedom. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I do know I am climbing out of the ditch grasping at the hook within this promise. I am not alone.
It’s that plain. It’s that simple.