Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: At Wit’s End (02/13/14)
TITLE: Job and Me
By Frana Hamilton
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Recently I studied the book of Job for a Sunday School class I was teaching, and at first I thought the lesson of Job was that even a good man, or as Scripture says, a perfect man, needs to repent. After a lot of thought and prayer though, I have now concluded otherwise. I think Job can be best understood in the light of Isaiah 43:7 where God tells us that He created us for His glory. That tells me that life is all about the Glory of God. I seem to keep thinking it is all about me – but it’s not. It’s about God’s glory.
Job firmly believed that God is God. He knew that his redeemer was alive and He would see him in the last days. He knew God to be all powerful. He even knew God loved him. The one area in which his faith wavered though was deeply personal. “God, do you care about my heart’s desires, about the personal things that are breaking my heart? I know you can move mountains, Lord, but what about the itchy sores all over my body. I know you took my children to heaven, but do you care about the loneliness I feel without them? Or that my breath is loathsome to my wife? Or that I am embarrassed about my descent from a position of wealth and respect…….to the garbage dump? Do you care, God? Is Your heart touched by these things?”
(Of course, you and I know the answer. “Yes, He cares.” He even notices the sparrow that falls.)
I can relate to Job. Sometimes my faith waivers also. Even though I have not suffered as Job did, each heart knows its own sorrow, and I have had times of deep heartache and even despair and depression. Sometimes these trials have threatened to overwhelm my soul, and at one time I began to think about suicide. I was at my wit’s end and could see no way out of a seemingly hopeless situation.
The thing that stopped me from taking my own life, though, was that A) I had always told people that God’s grace is sufficient, and I didn’t want them to know I no longer was finding it so, and B) What would I say when I met God. “Umm, God, I know what you said about your grace, but it didn’t seem to work for me.” So, in spite of myself I had to smile ruefully. Suicide was not the answer. I just had to trust God and soldier on even when I thought the emotional pain was unbearable.
So I was in the fiery furnace, but somehow I knew I was not alone. And as time went on, I found that the fiery furnace burned away the dross in my life and drew me closer to my Savior. And I found it was in those times that pure worship and praise seemed to pour forth from my heart.
I also found that new areas of ministry were opening up for me. The more I suffered, the more I could empathize with others who were suffering. The more my heart ached, the more I could relate to others whose hearts were aching. I began to realize, too, that praise and thanksgiving are great antidotes for depression.
Those were some of the most frustrating and painful days, weeks, months - yes, even years, of my life, but I can look back with gratitude because they opened the door to more and more opportunities for service. Yes, I was at my wit’s end didn’t think I could hang on any longer, but that was when I experienced that when I couldn’t hang on “the everlasting arms” were underneath, holding me fast.
To my amazement God took a seemingly impossible set of circumstances in my life and made it “work together for good” and for His glory, just like He promised in Romans 8:28. And that’s what really matters – the glory of God.
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