Calvin, meet Job.

calvin-hobbes-low-self-esteem
From Calvin and Hobbes (my FAVORITE!!) by Watterson

Ever have “one of those days…”?  Of course, you have!  I don’t even need to explain that phrase, “one of those days”.  Your descriptive list could probably rival mine. 

However, many times (more than I care to admit), “one of those days” originates in my own perspective, or possibly a consequence of my own past decisions.  (Ouch.) 

But then there are those days when what life throws at me has nothing to do with anything I’ve done, and I tend to feel “victimized”.  It tends to sound like this:

“If only I had known, I could have…”

“I did the best I could, but…”

Or simply a shocked—

“Whaa-a-aa?!?”

To use a very American phrase, completely out of left field.

Which makes me relate to this guy, Job, in the Old Testament.  The richest man in town, his wealth didn’t go to his head; he know God had blessed him and his family of eight kids, and Job gave credit to where it was due.  In fact, not only was he prospering materially, but spiritually as well, since he was described as a man of integrity and piety.  Super nice guy. 

Then came “one of those days”…

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

What a bummer.  The telling phrase, however, is this next one that is repeated three times:

While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news:

To save on the word count, here’s the recap (all in one day): Total loss of oxen, donkeys, and their farmhands, followed by fire from heaven burning up all the sheep and their shepherds, followed by enemy raiders stealing all the camels and killing those servants, followed by (this is the really hard one) a blast of wind knocking down the house where all his children were at the same time, killing everyone.

That is definitively “one of those days”.

Job’s response is stunning, because even in the midst of his understandably great grief…

In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

Blaming God.  That’s what we’re so prone to do. 

Why did You make/allow this to happen? Is this what You call love?   Don’t I deserve more than this?

Well, as a matter of fact, yes, I do.  Jesus showed me what I actually deserve, except that He took the nails for me instead.  That’s hard to admit, but it does put things in a different perspective.

Plus, it’s not up to God Almighty to give me a comfortable life, materially speaking.  He might choose to do that for a time, but I always need to remember that He says…

 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

My material comfort or discomfort is not about, well…my comfort.  (Oh, God, help me with this one!) It’s about Him, His powerful and eternal purposes at work even in the midst of chaos and despair and grief. 

And, eventually, the treasured eternity is coming, yeah, you know…one of these days.  (Couldn’t help it!)

Job 1:13-16,22; Isaiah 55:8,9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Author: dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic.

5 thoughts on “Calvin, meet Job.”

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