Thursday, January 06, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Job 5:17-19

But consider the joy of those corrected by God!
Do not despise the chastening of the Almighty when you sin.
For though he wounds, he also bandages.
He strikes, but his hands also heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no harm shall touch you.
Job 5:17-19
 
Most of us would say that Job is a book of "wounds," "chastening," "troubles," and "stri[ckeness]," and that would be absolutely correct. But how many of us would "consider" that Job is also a book of "joy"?
 
Job = Joy?!!
 
James the Apostle (1:2-4) seems to have the same unusual perspective on joy, saying, "Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because ... the testing of your faith produces endurance ... so that you may be mature and complete." (I don't know about you, but if "trials" are the path to "complet[ion]," some days I'd rather stay "[im]mature.")
 
Fortunately, both Job and James, are wise enough to realize that it's not "if" the trials will come, but "when."
 
We live in a sinful world, and "the wages of sin is [occasionally, ulitmately, inevitably] death." Nevertheless, God promises that "no [permanent] harm shall touch you."
 
Looking at today's verse, I obviously added the word, "permanent," but isn't that absolutely true! What if we embrace -- with Job and James -- the old cliche: "Anything that doesn't kill you will only make you stronger" ... but ... what if we add the confidence of one more line to this cliche: "And even if trials do kill you, still no real harm will come because you'll be in heaven just that much sooner."
 
Does that make you feel any better?! (Probably not.) But here's the cool part of this verse to me ...Imagine God as a shield. When scripture says, "[The Lord] will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no harm shall touch you," what I hear is, "The Lord -- my shield -- stops six arrows, but even when a seventh happens to get through, it can't cause me any permanent harm." Do you see that in that verse?!
 
How many of us curse the seventh arrow and life's inevitable trials? But what if we thanked him, instead, for his protection from the unseen arrows and the non-permanent wounds.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy with an invisible umbrella
(therefore, I ought to be singing in the rain)
-------------------
If you have been reading and you claim to know me ... you know that I like, really like, the statement Pastor added to the old cliche.  However, I can hear him and others stumbling for words ... "but! that's NOT what he meant."  It's what he said. (And yes - the statement does make me feel a little better!)

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew you would see that part of the statement. But here is one of those "God-incidences. After reading your heart-wrenching blog yesterday my mind went to the obvious (to me) thought that God had saved your life for a reason. Women in the same horrific situation have not lived through it. Then today pastor devo's about God being a shield that blocks unseen arrows. Yesterday I gave thanks to God for saving you. Today I give thanks again.

Jan 6, 2011, 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris,

That was my first assumption when Pastor Ken called me--that you had died. He said your uterus ruptured, and I assumed that you had died. I've told you that, right?

Do you ever wonder what would have happened to TA and EQ if you hadn't adopted them? Do you assume that someone else would have? When I read your posts, I often wonder what would have become of them if you hadn't adopted them. And if Luke had lived, you wouldn't have adopted them...at least certainly not TA. Probably not EQ either...you were approached with her because you already had TA.

I also wonder what this season of your life is doing to them (and I hope it's just a season).

Love you. Incredibly frusterated with you, but love you.

LC

Jan 7, 2011, 12:11:00 AM  

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