Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mrs. Job

Job 2:9 "Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.'”

We don't know her name. I'm referring to the wife of of the infamous suffer, Job. Even unchurched folk have heard of this Biblical character. People joke about experiencing a Job-like dilemma. Very few have ever come close to what Job endured. In a brief span of time he lost his children, livelihood, property, and perfect health. The only slice left of his earthly pie was a wife who suggested he curse God and die.
Job's first response to the priority mail his servants delivered - anguish and worship. He acknowledged God's power to give gifts AND to take them away. He blessed God's name. His mind was made up on the goodness of God, not the unfairness. Did Job waffle a bit as his story progressed? Yes. However, I want to camp out at his first response.
The most cherished possessions of Job were yanked from his open hands in a flash. He proclaimed God's prerogative to give and take away because he was living a surrendered life. His wife's response was to curse. Her clinched fist living made losing all she held onto as unbearable. I can identify with this nameless woman. I can put my name where hers belongs. I've not cursed God with words, but have insinuated His unfairness when he withdrew the valuables clutched in my tight-fisted palms. I've held pity parties and invited all my friends to attend. I've rejected the hideous wrapping paper of a gift enclosed with significant value. I chose to gaze only at the exterior, never imagining God had stored a priceless gift inside. Only later did I realize God's gift of suffering was purposed for my intimacy with Him, to reflect His glory in the way I opened my gift. Yes, suffering can be a gift.
My palms are open, ready to receive whatever is next.

Whiter than Snow

Psalm 51:7 "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

In an hour and a half my world has turned white. Ice has blanketed the earth. No one going out, none coming in. Nature has posted a "Do not disturb" sign on my front door. God whispers to me, "Be still and know." Know what God? What are you trying to say to me? Had my quiet time - check. Prayed - check. Memory verse done - check.
Then the whisper's volume increases. He reveals my "ducks in a row" morning has produced a fine looking chart but left a heart feeling void. Duty has trumped humility. Pride drips off my off my spiritual check list. I am forced to back track. Where did I go wrong?
Obedience to do the right things got entangled with a wrong motive. The child within screams for God to notice I cleaned my room. Yet God takes me to my closet. There He uncovers what I tossed in to  hide. All my dirty laundry (no longer on the floor of my room) has been discovered. My anger is in a wad in one corner; my self pity takes up space in another. He bids me to pick up all the soiled pieces and place them in His hands. He tosses them into the sea of forgiveness. He reminds me to not only be still, but to know He is God. He sees and uncovers, then covers me with grace. I experience white. White outside, white inside. He is God.