Compared to Job...

When it rains it pours...sometimes it just seems like life is harder than normal. You are busting your tail to get things done, volunteering your time, spending time with the kiddos, all the noble things that should work out to some good rewards. But life isn't like that all that much. Doing right carries no guarantee of things always going right. My oven is broken, my a/c unit leaked and created a very grotesque stain on my stairwell ceiling, my hot water heater exploded, and in the midst of it all, in fact the day after the water heater gave up the ghost we started reading Job in our daily reading plan. Go figure right! I read over those first couple of chapters and came to the realization that while my present situation is really shoddy, its nothing compared to what Job went through. In my spoiled American mindset I shed tears over the fact that I can't jump into the shower and with a twist of my wrist warm wonderful water cascades down upon me from on high. My dishwasher won't run without hot water? What is this world coming to? My air conditioner was on the fritz? Please, I lived as a missionary and on a daily basis had to heat up my own water that came from a rain barrel to bathe. My clothes had to be hand washed, not due to the delicacy of the fabric but absence of a shiny machine to do the work for me. So why do I feel so bent out of shape when these luxuries are denied me for a time?

When this all went down this weekend my mind volleyed between two probabilities: A) we have done something wrong or B) God wants to teach us a lesson. Spiritual inventory was taken aka who sinned??? Then, "God how could you let this happen to us?" No matter how much I learn about God and His goodness, I still struggle through these thoughts. God's grace is sufficient for me, no matter what the trial. We've stuck it out through some pretty rough waters, learned how to keep our heads up in spite of the circumstances. My husband in his infinite optimism (he was a missionary's kid by the way) tells me to thank God its summer time! Cold showers aren't as bad this time of year, and maybe we've been getting a little soft with all of our appliances working :)

God's stamp of approval doesn't mean that you will walk through life without struggle or sacrifice.

Romans 5:1-5

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!


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