I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Who are You???

"According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it." Job 4:8

"If you would seek God and implore the compassion of the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, surely now He would rouse Himself for you and restore your righteous estate." Job 8:6

"If you would direct your heart right and spread out your hand to Him, if iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness dwell in your tents; then, indeed, you could lift up your face without moral defect, and you would be steadfast and not fear." Job 11:13-15

"If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you remove unrighteousness far from your tent, and place your gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks, then the Almighty will be your gold and choice silver to you." Job 22:23-25



Sound familiar??

These verses, on their own, may sound good and well enough. "Do right, and God will reward you."

What is so saddening, depressing, heartbreaking, is that these words were spoken to a person who had just lost EVERYTHING. His family, his estate, and his health. We read in Job verse after verse, chapter after chapter, how sad he is. He is mourning. He is a broken man. He has nothing. He has lost the very people he lived for, and is now being mocked by those who claim to be part of the "family of God". He is told he MUST have done something wrong to open this door for God to take everything away. He is told, pretty much, "shut up and straighten up".....surely if only he'd repent, God would "show up".

To add insult to injury, Job was crying out to his "friends".....he was crying out from the depths of his soul, wondering, grieving, seeking....needing someone to comfort him. Enter these people who did nothing but point a finger of blame and tell him all the "holy" things they knew, as they sought out ways to teach him the "right ways" of God. If only one day he'd "learn" to fall in line, God would restore his life. Because obviously, according to them, he had it all wrong. (If you read the story, you can even hear the condescending tones in their voices.....the self-righteousness that comes with their heavenly words of wisdom spoken to Job.)

Know what happens throughout the story? The same thing, over and over again. Job laments...he can't understand why God has allowed this. (Which if you read the first chapter, we see that God DID, indeed, allow it all.) He cries, he complains, he asks question after question. And friend after friend comes along to tell him how wrong he is for doing so.

Surely we don't see this, NOR would we ever dream to condemn someone in their hurting now-a-days, right? Surely we've learned enough to know the heartlessness of this....surely....

Then finally, God speaks, after thirty-something chapters of Job crying out to him. A very long time of waiting. And doesn't he say what we expect? Doesn't he tell his friends, "Good job, he had it all wrong....thank you for pointing out the error of his ways and kicking him when he was down, my servants, you got it all RIGHT!"....

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

This is what he says to Job's friends;

"My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has..." Job 42:7b

Now there's so much in this story. Please, find the time to read it. It's worth it.

I wrote all this to say, who are we being??? Who am I? Who are you? Dear reader, are we spending time telling those who are hurting how holy we are, and that if only they'd come around to our way of thinking, God would "show up" in their lives? Are we discouraging those who are already overwhelmingly discouraged??? Are we even using select verses out of the Bible to shut up the cries of the oppressed????

Heaven forbid. I hope not.

But for some reason...I felt the need to share this story yet again.

I am thankful for a God who catches our tears, cries with us, hurts with us, grieves with us, feels with us.....and NEVER belittles a broken heart.

Because who have we ever learned more from in our hurt?? Those who had all the lofty answers of how we needed to change our ways??? Or those who took the time to carry our burdens with us???.....

I hope we all know the beauty of the cross...that it wasn't a beautiful thing at all that night. It was dark, scary, and He was alone. Much like we are throughout different times in life. Go "be a light"....don't add to the darkness that already surrounds us. After all, that's what the Gospel is all about...shining a light in the darkness. Not blowing out the flame of an already broken spirit.

Amen?

2 comments:

Tiaras said...

I like your connections there -

Happy new Year my blog friend!!

jesnicole said...

Thank you, girl! Thanks for reading. :) Happy new Year to you, too!!