Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 – Day 254.Sept 12 – No Surprise

Blogger’s Note: Some have noted my missing blogs. Unfortunately I had no internet access @ the Conference Center of “The Country Place,” a Christian retreat center in Moscow, TN, where a number of Christian men had gathered together to seek God’s healing and restoration from sexual brokenness. It was the second annual Midsouth Freedom Retreat [see this website]; and I’ve been blessed to be part of the planning group for this powerful weekend experience. Therefore, I was unable to post my devotionals here for this past weekend; but please know that my devotional disciplines were not missed due to weekend retreat. In fact, they were especially sweet and deep, being at the lovely retreat property in rural Tennessee. So, here we are on Monday morning; and I will enter a triple dose of the last three days for your edification and my own accountability.

Passage of the Day: Job 25 - 26 … Linked for study …

My Journal for Today:
Have you ever been in a state of abject pain, … especially for some length of time? I have; and for 33 years I was clinical director in a hospital. If I had never experienced the outcomes of pain myself, I have seen its devastating effects upon the emotions and attitudes of those who suffer. So, … with that in mind, let’s return to our suffering hero, Job, who is still sitting at the city gates, … out on a dung heap, covered with sores.

And again, one of his “friends,” Bildad in this instance (in the very short Chapter 25), comes to Job with more feedback and harsh speculations about the whys and wherefores of Job’s circumstances. Is it any surprise that Job in his pain and weariness comes back at Bildad with what we read in Chapter 26, … words filled with irony and bite? Go back and reread verse 3 (NIV) in Chapter 26 and you see Job’s biting sarcasm coming back at Bildad as he says [NIV], “What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed!”

Job had had enough from these dudes; and I’m surprised it took him this long, with all the suffering with which he was handling, to stand up and tell his friends off … in this case, Bildad. But Swindoll points out that what Job offers Bildad in verses 5 – 13 of this chapter is an absolutely incredible apologetic into God’s majesty and glorious presence and power. Personally, when I experience pain, I have trouble relating with God, let alone being clear about truth. But Job lays out a strong, clear case for God’s creative majesty, effectively putting Bildad in his place.

Bildad, or any of us, would be well to learn and repeat each morning a prayer that Swindoll apparently uses daily to start each day. It reads like this …

Lord, help me today not to add to anybody’s burden. Help me to bring encouragement to others; and where I can, enable me to be a comfort. And when I don’t know enough to help, help me to admit it or remain silent. And when I feel sorrow and sympathy for someone, help me to say that. Help me to lift the load of the hurting, not to add to their burden.

Oh, what a great prayer!

My Prayer for Today: Lord, that’s my prayer this day. Amen

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