Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Job - Living In A Whirlwind"

Contrary to what most people think, the book of Job is not a story of a self-righteous man being punished by God for his sin. Actually he was a righteous man who one day, by no fault of his own, found himself living in a whirlwind. Another word for whirlwind is twister. Job was living a normal life when a great and giant twister came and took his children, his livestock and everything he owned. And if that wasn’t enough, he was also afflicted with a terrible skin disease, or in layman terms, boils.

Lately I've witnessed several families going through extreme hardship−and they, like Job are living in a whirlwind. I’d like to share my heart with those of you who tend to judge these people. Whether it is the loss of a home, a job, one's health or an injustice—it isn’t our position to criticize, find fault or figure out how they got there. It seems when loss and suffering come, every area of one’s life is affected; even friends get caught in the whirlwind.

Actually, this is true of Job’s friends too. While he was going through the most devastating trial of his life, one by one, after sitting with him for seven days, contemplating his situation; they did more harm than good. After their proclamations, Job became more beleaguered and confused by their judgments than by his circumstance. As wonderful and sincere as friends can be, instead of offering Job compassion, prayers and friendship; they brought false accusations and condemnation. And if that wasn't enough, they began to rationalize among themselves just how Job's problems could be solved; thus the dreadful process of thinking for God.

Although Job never sinned against God with his lips, I am certain that living in a whirlwind makes anyone susceptible to it. However, Job never blamed God, but he did curse the day he was born. Could Job have ended this suffering by cursing God? That’s what his wife wanted. That meant she blamed God for what was happening. In a way she was right, God did after all, offer up Job to Satan by saying, “have you considered my servant Job?” But, instead of blame, he desperately and relentlessly pursued God.

At last, a suddenly happens, now instead of living in a whirlwind, for one moment everything stopped and Job was silenced by God speaking to him from the whirlwind. Job answers God's question "who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?" by replying that he has said things he didn't understand because they were far beyond his comprehension. This is very different from his previous complaint. God's ways had been just as incomprehensible, but at that time, they were dark, heavy, and oppressive; now they are full of life and wonder. Like Job, our first response to pain and suffering is oppression. That is, until we desperately pursue God; then supernatural revelation brings transformation. Job's next phrase reveals his dawning moment. "Listen, please, and let me speak;" Job replied "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Eph. 1:18a says, "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;" the eyes of his understanding were opened. Job's torment not only brought him solidarity with God, it brought him into God's very presence. In His presence, things look different. When Job’s friends are told by God to go and be prayed for and offer sacrifices to him, they too see things differently. Their life of living in the whirlwind of guessing, reasoning and thinking are over as well; exchanged for a greater understanding of God's glorious ways!

Years ago, I found myself living in a whirlwind of my own. Something I had never encountered before and hopefully will never be subjected to again. It was a travesty with no rational explanation. The fact that I had in all honesty done nothing wrong was the worst part. Like Job, I felt abandoned by God. This kind of injustice far surpasses one's mortal comprehension. All I could do was trust my all powerful, fair and righteous God to see me through. While I never lost my child or became sick, my name was associated with wrongdoing and I needed God to redeem, restore, and acknowledge my innocence. That never happened.

What did happen was God spoke to me while I was in the midst of the whirlwind, and brought great understanding. In my desperation, He reminded me that He too had done nothing wrong but through His sufferings brought forgiveness of sin, and a personal relationship with God the Father. I realized His objective was to give me the same beautiful testimony He gave Job, no matter how minute. I was now a partaker of His sufferings. God knew Job would remain faithful, and I am proud to say, He knew I would too.

We may never know why, at times, we experience trials and tribulations; but we can be sure of one thing, God is right there with us and our friends should be too. My heart goes out to those today that may be living in a whirlwind—let’s not try, judge and sentence them in the court of human reasoning.  Rather, let’s surround them with love, and nurse them back to a place where hope and a future are found; a place where judgment finds no home. Remember, everything can change in a single breath. Let’s be loving and compassionate. Let’s stand with them in their time of need and believe God for full and total restoration…lest it be us tomorrow!

Love God desperately, love people compassionately (Pastor Dan Hicks)

Rev Daina House


Blogger Kelly said...

Oh Daina, how wonderful are the works of God! You followed me on Twitter today, I re-followed you, found your blog, read this and received EXACTLY what God wanted me to thru it! How cool is that?!

I've been living in a bit of a whirlwind - okay, a maelstrom - for the past year. My husband has anger issues, has been abusive, and last Feb he had a stroke. After caring for him until May, he began to go into a depression (common w/stroke victims and always when he gets angry - he experiences depression as rage) and kicked my 16 yr old daughter and I out of our home. We had a place to stay immediately, with a friend, and within a few short months, God had provided an entire apartment full of all the furniture that we need, and He has given us a warm, comfortable, safe home and has even allowed us to share it with a depressed young woman, 19 yr old Maddy.

My daughter and I started college in Sept., and the school is a 5 min. walk from our home (another yaaay God!) Shortly after we started school, a dear friend of ours committed suicide. Then my mom got sick and died from cancer, all in 1 month (October). I am chronically ill and in pain every day, I haven't spoken to my husband in months, and I miss my mom.

I am on this odd roller coaster of joy and praise, and then sorrow and pain. God keeps coming thru with strength and blessings daily, hours, even minute-ly. My daughter loves God and is a avid Jesus follower. My life is full of young people these days, and I love cooking for them, listening to them, encouraging them and loving them in God's love. I am blessed.

But I miss my mom, and I am tired w/pain, and I love my husband and mourn his "lostness" He and I were friends for years before we married. He was (and somewhere inside him, still is) the dearest, sweetest, kindest, most passionate man of God. He laughed easily, and cried easily, and loved totally. Now he is just angry. I miss him.

Your blog post was a tremendous blessing. This week has been a tough one. I'm not sure why. I have just felt down, tired, sad. I needed to hear that God knows, you know? I am okay with not knowing why things are happening, as long as God knows and is charge.

I was telling my sister the other day, as we talked about some marital problems that she was having, that everything can change so suddenly, and that our Father is waiting eagerly for the appointed time. I think God knew I needed to hear the same thing - as you wrote, "Remember, everything can change in a single breath".

Thanks so much, Daina. And please, if you remember me, keep me in your prayers, and especially my husband, Marc.

God bless you,

February 1, 2012 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Rev. Daina House said...

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog--first, I want you to know that God knows exactly where you are. This last year was a difficult one for my family too. We lost my step-father and my step-mother within days of one another. I'm sorry for your pain.
However, the Lord would say to you: "Be strong and of good courage--for I, the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go--I will watch over you and protect you and your family. Your husband is in My hands--he shall not fall away. Trust in Me my daughter, and do not grow weary in well doing. Look up, beloved--for what you have need of; it cometh", say the Lord your God.
I will keep you in my prayers Kelly--if you need prayer or encouragement, please email me and I will try to answer--but know that I receive all my emails even if I don't have the time to respond.
Rev Daina

February 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM  

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