Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009 – Day 234.Aug 23 – Expressing Grief

Passage of the Day: Job 3: 1 - 26 … Linked for study...

My Journal for Today:
At the end of Job’s lamentation in Chapter 3, where we read the lyrics to Job’s sad song of hopelessness and grief, Swindoll points out a pertinent observation. There is this long lament from Job; and then there is silence from God’s word, … with absolutely no retort from God at this point, chastising Job for grieving so openly in this way.

Oh, sure, shortly we’re going to read from Job’s three friends about their input on the “whys and wherefores” of the circumstances; but God does not level any blame at Job at the end of Chapter 3, … only the solitude and silence of Job’s own heart for the time being. And that is what often happens when we take our grief to God. No, God lets us vent our feelings before His throne of grace as often and as deeply as we are in need. And as I’ve said in earlier journal entries here on the story of Job’s loss, God can take it. If we feel low and hopeless, God even invites us in His word to bring our burdens to Him. I’ve mentioned some of those truths in recent days, we NT Christians having the advantage of Christ’s intervention in time. We read in NT passages, especially words from Jesus’ invitation in Matt. 11: 28-30 or from an empathetic Peter, who had experienced the lows of acute depression himself, writing (in 1st Pet. 5: 7), “… casting all your cares on [God] because He cares for you.”

But Job didn’t know of the New Covenant truths. He only had the promise of His personal relationship with God; and as we’ll later learn, that was enough to keep our hero digging deeper into that relationship for hope and for answers to his queries. But at this point, he couldn’t see the WHYS of his loss. All he could feel was the loss and the pain. And as we have the advantage of long-term hindsight, Swindoll points out that our perspective should be finely tuned when we aren’t embroiled in the confusion of loss and pain. And I agree that we should allow ourselves to set the truth about God’s love and mercy into our hearts when we’re thinking clearly, as I hope/pray you are now. It’s like storing up the credits of God’s mercy for a future day when we’re going to need it … in a day where we’re feeling pain like Job.

In the search for understanding about God’s grace and mercy, Swindoll gives his readers a great quote from the Dutch evangelist, Corrie ten Boom, who wrote a marvelous truth after experiencing so much pain and loss in her life during WW II. She wrote, “There is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still.” And that is a reality that somehow we must store up in our hearts so that we can draw upon it later when we need it. I pray, for me and for you, … that we hold on to that truth and the realization that God will never leave us alone in our grief. I pray that we have the promises of God which I’ve brought out today so piled up in our heart banks for a day when we’re going to need to withdraw those feelings of hope.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I now invest my hope completely in You, especially put away in these times of clarity for a day when I may have trouble remembering that my hope is always in You. Amen

1 comment:

Dee Dee Wike said...

How I pity those who don't realize that God is able to take the outpouring of a grieved or angry heart! Your reflection this morning is a timely reminder of God's unending love and compassion. How great is our God!