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Friday, December 9, 2011

Mr and Mrs Job: Managing Our Expectations

This series has been fun to do, but every time I think I am done, another little pearl pops up. One of my regular readers (yes, I do have a few of those) sent in the following comment (edited) which brought up another issue that I thought we’d address.

“I am really enjoying this series! Like many others, I have never given any serious thought to Mrs. Job's grief due to the loss of her children. I can relate to how she may of felt. I was angry with God at one point in my life because of a loss of life. I thank you for helping to make God's words and ways so plain for us. My reactions of anger directed at God were not so different than Mrs. Job… I have some relief when I am able to see that this may be a natural reaction to an unrealistic belief. I had a belief that things will always go GOOD in one’s life, never encountering the BAD.” G.C.

What this commenter says at the end is something I think worth further discussion. This is not about Job or Mrs. Job specifically, but about faith and religion.
Somewhere along the line many of us have bought into the fairytale that our lives will be perfect, perfected or materialistically blessed based solely on the fact that we believe in Christ. This is not sound thinking inside or outside of the church.

What we get is peace, not stuff. And, when we get this peace, it does not mean that our children will become perfect, or that we won’t have disaster in our lives, or that our loved ones won’t get sick and die. What it means, at least what I think it means is that we have internal peace. The Apostle Paul says it best, a “peace beyond all human understanding”.

This is a peace we can remain with, and return to. And, a Comforter that is with us, and ever-available to us to help us get and/ or keep our act together. Here’s the key: this Comforter is like a parent. But like any other parent, it can’t keep us from skinning our knee or getting into quarrels, or screwing ourselves up financially. And, like every parent, He can love us, and hold us, and teach us, and love us.

And we can reach out for that peace of mind again and again and again. It is always there.
So, here in Job, despite the rebuke, he is saying to her and by extension to us, “Life is life. We must take the bitter with the sweet, the good with the bad.”
But as Job has said earlier, I know that my Redeemer will come…

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