August 21 – Come What May

But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. (Job 2:10)

Read: Job 1:1-3:26, 1 Corinthians 14:1-17, Psalm 37:12-29, Proverbs 21:25-26

Relate: “It’s not my fault.” I don’t know if I was given bad information or if I simply wrote the information down wrong in my planner. It actually could possibly have been my fault but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. You see, I was supposed to have gotten on a plane early that morning but in my planner, I thought the flight was mid-afternoon. I was absolutely convinced that I was about two hours early for my flight. In reality, I was about seven hours late. I was supposed to be in another city in Turkey early the next morning, but even though I should have had plenty of time to get settled in first, now I didn’t know if it would be possible. My flight had been purchased for me, but when they passed on the information to me, they had the right flight numbers but the departure and return times reversed.

There were no direct flights between my home and my destination, but there were two major cities that do regular flights in both directions. There were also three different airlines that fly out of my home city. (I know, it’s no JFK) There were multiple flights I could take to either Istanbul or Ankara, but every single flight for all three airlines between either city and Trabzon was booked for the next day and a half. This was a Friday afternoon and the earliest I could possibly arrive at my destination was Sunday at 9:30PM. You can’t even begin to imagine how frustrated I was.

An hour and a half later, I was on a bus for a 14 hour ride through the night. I had literally booked the last available seat on any of the five busses making the trip that day. I am stuffed into a back corner seat next to a sweaty, oversized gentleman and behind a couple with a colicky baby that wasn’t able to sleep more than an hour at a time… all night long. What did I do to have deserved this? This is not fair at all. The next morning I arrive at my hotel, shower, change, and head right out the door… late.

React: Compared to Job, my trial was nothing. But as I was reading Job today, I could almost picture the scene in heaven when this mess of a day rolled over me. I could almost see God up in heaven as the angels all show up. Satan is with them and God calls out to the devil,
“What have you been up to?”
“I’ve been roaming to and fro around the earth seeking who I may devour.”
“Have you seen my servant, Beejai?”
“Yah. But he only serves You because everything always seems to go his way. Mess his plans up and watch how he curses You.”
“If that’s what you think, I’ll tell you what. Go ahead and make his trip as miserable as possible. But he still needs to get to his destination.”

And so it went. Did you ever notice, that when God and Satan had their little debate on Job, it was Satan who did evil to the man but it was God who initiated the conversation? God is all knowing. He knew exactly how Satan would react when He said, “Hey, check out my servant Job.” TWICE! Poor Job. What is his reward for being a righteous man? So much trouble comes rolling down on him that even his grieving wife says, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?”

Sometimes we get this crazy that if we do everything right, then only good will result. Yes, this is true much of the time but there are other moments when life just happens. Maybe we are the victims of someone else’s sin. Maybe it is just bad luck. And maybe, just maybe, God is allowing this hardship just to show us off. No matter what the reason, am I willing to accept the good with the bad? Am I willing to praise God, come what may?

Respond: 

Dear God,
You are good. Though there are times when I may wonder what You are doing, though there might be times when I question why You are doing it, there is never a shadow of a doubt that You are good. Give me the grace to accept the rain as well as the shine. Give me the patience to trust You know best even when I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death. You give and You take away. Come what may, let Your praises ever be on my lips.
Amen

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11 thoughts on “August 21 – Come What May

  1. I’ve been wondering, given the intro to Job, whether another point of the book of Job was to show that Job thought what happened to him depended on what he did? How it references in the first part how he did things to make sure God accepted his children. Maybe the first time he responded, it was his religiosity responding? And then when all the bad things happen again, maybe that’s when his religiosity fell and the real Job was ready to start emerging? And then the dozens of chapters of Job and his friends trying to figure out where they went wrong? Until Job is saying at the end that he wants to put God on trial. When maybe God’s point is that the bad things that happened had zero correlation with Job’s behavior/righteousness/etc? Maybe God was trying to get Job to that place? Maybe God is trying to get us to that same place? I don’t know. Just thoughts I’ve been having lately.

  2. Great post with great insight. In my own turmoil, I have often wondered why God would allow such chaos. But while nothing has quite gone the way I have imagined it should, I continue to dig into my faith and my relationship with the Lord. I have stopped blaming Him (as I did very early on) and have instead seen it as an opportunity for growth.

  3. Amen. Just as the true mark of love is to love those who hate you, the true mark of faith is to praise God in the middle of the storms when the ground is slipping out from under you and so much is wrong that you can’t envision anything every going right. So glad you were able to get that last bus ticket. God bless.

  4. “…just maybe, God is allowing this hardship just to show us off. No matter what the reason, am I willing to accept the good with the bad? Am I willing to praise God, come what may?”…… I”m laughing tears!

    Just this morning my husband Noel and I were talking, and I went on about why would God publicly allow us to go through a rough time like our blind kid having seizures he never had before, why now at 17 when he’s just understanding his life as a Christian, and having to cope with some other people’s weird assumptions that suffering is ‘ bad ‘. Our kid Johann has a whole stack of humor, music, hyper joy and patient impatience….
    so I read your, “God is allowing this hardship to .. show us off???” and it tickles my sulks. THANK YOU dear one in Christ, and Bro Bruce for your generous intro to Gods own in the Blogging community, no matter how wide the planet is. Blessed to be here

    Respond:

    • I remember talking with a friend who was going through an especially difficult time when he said, “God clearly has a lot more faith in me than I do.” That idea has stuck with me and it definitely makes an appearance in this post.

      My verse for the year is Zechariah 10:12 By my power I will make my people strong, and by my authority they will go wherever they wish. I, the Lord, have spoken!

      I had a little chuckle with God this morning as for the first time I made the connection between that verse and my recent travel troubles. “They may go wherever they wish,” but perhaps not first class or even quickly.

  5. Next to the David stories, the account of Job is one of my favorite Bible stories. I love that it gives such a vivid picture of the behind-the-scenes view of our lives her on earth. There is so much more to life than what we are privy to.
    Thanks for sharing one of your at-home-with-Job experiences.

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