Sunday, February 7, 2016

Study of Job: A Little Friendly Advice

So, it's been several months since I started this study of suffering in Job, namely because I have been distracted by my own suffering. I think perhaps there was divine guidance to this study....but that's just my opinion.

So, when we last left Job and his friend Eliphaz in chapter 4, Eliphaz was having a sort of crisis of faith. This man, Job, his dear and righteous and upstanding friend had suddenly incurred what seemed to be the wrath of God.

But this is where Eliphaz goes off the rails a bit-it is not the wrath of God that has afflicted Job, it is the scourge of Satan. It is the physical equivalent of the lies you and I hear every day-"you aren't good enough", "he doesn't really love you", "you are failing as a _________." See-Satan doesn't have his own power....he has to take it from you. He has to use people to accomplish his evil, he uses our fears, doubts, anxieties, and anger to accomplish his purposes.

So on to chapter 5. Eliphaz has apparently recovered from his crisis of faith and now calls Job foolish.  He admonishes that there is no one safe from the plights Job has experienced and no man on earth can help him or undo what has happened. This is a kind of epiphany for Eliphaz, he is realizing that if this can happen to Job, no one is "safe". 

Then Eliphaz gives Job a little friendly advice:

But as for me, I would seek God. And to God I would commit my cause-who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.
-Job 5:8-9 

Finally, Eliphaz encourages Job to not despise God's discipline. He reminds Job that is this pruning and refining process, which can be painful and difficult, that God is shaping us into the creatures He we were created to be-His children.


I do not do well with chaos and confusion.  I get sensory overload very quickly and get very frustrated when I cannot accomplish all of the tasks I have on my lists.

Wife. Mother. Home-school Teacher. Consultant.

These are roles I play each day. But there is one role I wish I didn't play and that causes all of the other roles to be exponentially more difficult.

Chronic Illness Sufferer Warrior.

When I get worked up with anxiety and stress, I need to remember to call on Jesus. Call on Him to help me prioritize what needs to be done, have the strength to get it done, and know when I need to stop.

Part of living with chronic illness is knowing your limits. Sometimes I ignore them-so now I pray..."Lord Jesus, remind me that resting to renew my body's strength and energy so that I able to serve You and my family in the ways you intended."

Tomorrow is Monday. Usually Monday's don't bother me as we have a less-than-conventional schedule and lifestyle. But tomorrow is different-I am still recovering from recent surgery and my health has taken a serious turn for the worse. Tomorrow is the first day my husband will be gone all day.

I know for a fact I do not have the strength, energy, or stamina to get done all of the things I need to. But I know someone who does and He will hold me and guide me if I make every thought, every action, every "to-do" obedient to Him.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Jesus, I Need You

I am an introvert (surprise!).

So when there is trouble in my life, I tend to turn inward. I withdraw from family, friends, and, truthfully, God. I clam up, even when friends and family try to draw me out to try to help. I distract myself with TV and work so I don't have deal with what trouble is in my path.

Lately, there has been trouble, but the specifics aren't important here, the bottom line is-I have withdrawn.

By withdrawing and moving further from my Heavenly Father I wonder-what has He tried to tell me and I haven't been listening? What has He tried to show me that I have not seen?

In my darkest moments, I have felt alone, ashamed, worthless, and hopeless. I have heard the lies of the enemy and I have believed them.  The only way that is possible is that I have pulled away from the Lord so far that Satan's voice has become louder to me than my Heavenly Father's.

But I have hope. I have a dear and wonderful husband who cares deeply for me and my well-being, physical, emotional and spiritual. I have good friends who are willing to take my late-night, nervous breakdown phone calls. I have community for what feels like the first time in my life that has wrapped their love around our family like a warm blanket.

And I have God's promises:

The bottom line here is, I need Jesus.  When I am not actively pursuing my relationship with Him, when I am pushing away instead of pressing in, I am not following the path the Lord has laid before me.

Friends, press in, don't push away. You will always find exactly what you need in His word and through a healthy prayer life with the Lord.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The One Who Knows Me

Today I am distracted. Scattered. Unable to concentrate. I tried to work, but couldn't focus. It feels like I am just 1 step behind life today.

My thoughts are on tomorrow. Will my procedure go well?  Will I be in pain? Will have have sufficient medication to manage my pain? What will the results be? Are these the last few days before I find out that cancer will be part of my life? How are children feeling? Are they scared? Do they understand?

Lord, You know my words before I speak them, so you must know all of the questions racing through my mind. And what You do to comfort me, You-the God of all creation, You place your hand of blessing on my head.

I envision this as an image of a father comforting his daughter in times of trouble, his gesture of placing his hand on her head one that says, "It's going to be okay, no matter what happens, I will be here with you."

Tomorrow will be a challenging day for me as well as the rest of our family.  I am thankful for the friends who have reached out and helped us with housework and cooking and just caring for our family. I am thankful for the friends that have offered to continue helping until my health is restored. I am thankful that my Momma is coming to be with me and support me. I am so very thankful for my husband who has walked this weary path with me.