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)
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?
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.