Do you ever feel like Job? Do you ever feel swallowed up in trials and hard times? Do you ever feel like you just can’t buy a break, or like God’s mad at you or indifferent to what you’re going through?
I think we all feel that way at times. It can be so hard keeping your head on straight when you feel like the world is against you, and you can hardly catch a breath.
There have been times in the past when I felt like God either didn’t really care, or was indifferent to what I was going through. After all, He is more interested in our holiness than our happiness.
In hindsight I realize that assessment is incorrect. Not the part about His being more interested in our holiness, but the part about Him being indifferent or unconcerned. God cares about how we feel, but in the big picture, He sees things much differently than we do. I think the way God looks at how we view some of our trials is similar to how we look at how our children view some other their trials. We feel for them, but understand that in the scheme of things some their problems are not all that significant.
I think my expectations in the past were for God to somehow magically fix my problems rather than be there for me to lean on. The magically fix my problems is a very attractive proposition, but not beneficial to my spiritual growth.
For those of you who have been following my blog you have probably noticed that I have been blogging much less than I had been. I was unemployed for quite a while and had lots of time to post. I am now getting up at 5:00 am and doing very hard labor Monday through Friday. I am very grateful for the work, but come home exhausted and in pain most days. Not conducive to creative writing. That’s a trial to me.
I have two adult children with Crohns disease and usually one or the other has flair ups. My son has been pretty much laid up in bed at home with us for the past several months, and just had major surgery. He is in a hospital 4 1/2 hours away and in a lot of pain. There is nothing I can do for him and that’s a trial to me.
My car for work just broke down. I had it towed to a repair shop and was quoted $711.00 to replace a starter and starter switch. I can’t afford that so I paid the $34.95 diagnostic fee, had them jump it, and drove it home. Tomorrow I am purchasing the parts for much less than the repair shop wanted to charge me, and am buying a repair manual and am going to try and fix it myself along with a friend. I don’t like working on cars and am mechanically inept. This is a trial for me.
We cancelled cable a couple months ago and use Netflix for our entertainment. The computer I was running it through to my TV decided to die on me a couple weeks ago. I found an inexpensive compute on-line to replace it. Well, I received it a few days ago, and it was not what I thought I was getting. It only had one gig of RAM instead of the 3 gig I was expecting which is not conducive to instant streaming. Several emails back and for is getting me more RAM, but it is still a trial to me.
All the things above I mentioned, either just happened or are ongoing and added to what’s just happened. Hence the title, I Feel Like Job.
Am I going through these things because God is indifferent to me?
I would definitely have to say no.
I’ve have a few days lately where I felt swallowed up and overwhelmed, but upon reflection I don’t really have a lot to complain about. How can I complain about the trials I’m going through when all around me people are suffering much harsher trials than I am?
I look at the horrible and senseless murder of those innocent children and adults in that school in Connecticut, and realize my trials are minuscule in comparison. I cannot remember missing a meal that I didn’t choose to miss. I cannot think of a day I have not had a roof over my head, or close on my back.
I’ve always had shoes to wear and a coat in winter. I have friends and family who I know will always be there for me. I have a God who is indescribable in His awesomeness, His love, His mercy, His grace and His kindness.
The trials most of us experience are nothing compared to what many of God’s servants have gone through in history.
I cannot say I will never feel sorry for myself again, or take a seat on the pity pot, but I can say that I won’t stay there for long. I have realized as I’ve gotten older that when I get hit with trials, and feel overwhelmed on all sides; God will help me through them if I will just trust Him.
A couple days ago as I was feeling overwhelmed, I got down on my knees and started thanking God for all the blessings in my life. Within a very short time I started to feel better. All my trials that I described above are still with me, but I feel okay. I’m not happy with them, and I wish I didn’t have to deal with them, but I’m okay with them.
With as blessed as most of us are, it is wrong to fall apart and start feeling sorry for ourselves when life gets a bit bumpy. I’m thinking when we find ourselves blaming God for our trials or at least for not getting rid of them for us, we should read Job 42:1-6
Job 42:1-6 42 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. 6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”