Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.
I left off last time remarking that I wasn't thankful that God had answered my prayer for clear direction; rather, I was furious.
I stomped to our bedroom and collapsed on our bed in tears and anger. Because really it wasn't about the house. It was about having one more loss. It was about Grace and her loss. It was about too many losses piled high and finally toppled. It was about the difficulty of the last year and a half. It was about everything feeling so ridiculously hard.
Why, God? Why? Why is everything so hard? Why does everything have to be hard for us? Why can't we be like everybody else? It feels like another carrot dangled in front of our eyes! Here's something you want? Nope, gotcha!
And I realize that sounds very self-centered and self-piteous and completely not grounded in truth. Because that's exactly what it was. I spent a solid hour (or more) mired deep in self-pity and anger and envy of others. But that night before I went to bed I opened the book I was reading to continue reading where I'd left off.
And what did I read?
Then Job replied to the Lord:
"I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You ask, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me.
You said, 'Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.'"
~ Job 42:1-4
The Holy Spirit illuminated those verses to me so strongly it was as if they jumped off the page and read themselves to me. The chapter then proceeded to expound on the idea of submission and submitting to a God who has perfect knowledge and complete authority, even when we don't get the answers we seek or want.
I was deeply convicted of my irreverence. I was convicted of daring to accuse the Lord who reigns over everything seen and unseen through all of time and outside of time of ignorance, of implying that I knew better and had more knowledge than he.
Something that has concerned me for quite some time is the lack of reverence I often hear in regards to God from some Christians. We talk about him and to him like he's our buddy off the block, our homeboy that we can speak to in any manner we'd like. And while Jesus has called his followers his friends, we'd be treading dangerous waters to interpret that to mean a disregard for reverence and proper fear.
Proverbs 9:10 says,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
This type of fear means a reverence for the Lord that comes from a proper understanding of who he is. And to know him is to gain insight that builds on this reverence, resulting in wisdom.
The author of this same book also pointed out the verse in Job 1:22,
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
The implication is that it would be sin to accuse God of wrongdoing. I understand that we want to come to God right where we are, just as we are. But that shouldn't give us license in our anger. Yes, I've still had moments of anger and envy and why-me's, but I can't stay there. I love these verses from Psalm 119:28-30 that I read in my devotional the other day:
I weep with grief; encourage me by your word. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your law. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your laws.
Keep me from lying to myself. I love that.
This story doesn't wrap up with a pretty bow. I'm not all tidied and put back together. We're broken and hurting. But God says that he is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). My consistent prayer is that God would create steadfast hearts in us. There's more to this life than what I see right now and I pray to walk by what I know to be true and not what only appears to be true.
"....as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2nd Corinthians 4:18).
I don't want to live for only this life. I want to live for Eternity.