Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Joy in Darkness

Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands
always gave me delight.

Psalm 119:143

“I don’t know why Job had so many problems. He just got hit with all sorts of stuff and I can’t remember what he did,” said my eighty plus year old friend. “Absolutely nothing.” I quickly replied as I remembered all the times in the the last several years I’d gone back to Job and wondered at God’s “permission” for Satan to give a crack at bringing Job down. It made me think that maybe God had given his “permission” for my life as well!

Trouble isn’t “fair” in its distribution. For some life seems to offer little difficulty while others get far more than their “fair” share. Truthfully, I find the lack of a “fairness” quotient in life troubling!

But, Job does bring me comfort of sorts. Through all the loss, all the discomfort, all the pain God remains in Job’s space. God knew and was confident that He had built Job to last. However, Job also reminds me of all my own classic responses – upbeat, initially, with a slow slide into despair.

Job’s life had been shaped by disciplines that gave him what he needed most when most needed. He had lived, studied, and knew God along with His commands. It’s these commands, God's promises, that paved the road for Job, leading him through the darkness and into the light. In the end he says with complete confidence, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

Always present God! When troubles come down on me hard,
don’t take them away, but bring me the memory
of your promises so that I can find joy in the darkness.

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