Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wondering how Job did it!

A couple of weeks ago, the pastor preached a great sermon on why God allows bad things to happen. And man! I was so pumped when I left the church. I mean, it was just so comforting and made so much sense.

Now, I find myself in a "losing it all" situation (or it feels like that to me), and I can't imagine how Job survived it. What must his faith truly have been like? And why would he even want a relationship with God after having everything stripped away from him?

Am I the only one looking up and saying, "What?! Weren't things bad eNOUGH?! And wasn't I trying alREADY to make things better? To do something RIGHT?! THIS? THIS is Your idea of the LOVING thing?!?"

And I'm ashamed to admit that my walk with God looks more like a swagger...or a stumble...sometimes, than a walk. But here I am...swaying to and fro again. *weep* And in the midst of it, I sense the soft strands of a rope anchored around my waist, and I'm being gently pulled forward, as I stagger down the current path, desperate to avoid land mines and potholes...thoughts and feelings of desertion and fear...shame and guilt...doubt and anger.

Then Job replied to the Lord: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my cousel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

"You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dus and ashes."
Job 42:1-6

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Amazing, Amazing Sermon Sunday

I can't tell you how many Sunday mornings I just don't have the "umph" to go "do" church. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but b/c we are so limited on time, I feel very detached from the people we worship with some Sundays. It's really, a terrific place to worship...Mennonite Brethren with two services each Sun. morning, both with about 250 or so people...and we've had lots of dealings with them via the ministry, and they're great people who love the Lord. We were just so close to our former church family (of 17 years, if I recall) so it's difficult to start we just haven't tried very hard. :(

But this morning, the Spirit was moving all over the place. First, pastor read the passage from Job, where Job finds out that his family, livelihood, everything is gone. And he confesses that he came naked, and naked he'll return. So I knew the pastor was headed down a familiar "When-bad-things-happen" path. Then, the college kids who led our worship were just terrific, and I just felt the Lord wash all over me as I sang (quite hoarsely ) Amazing Love, You Never Let Go, etc.

The pastor started a four part series about answering hard questions, and the first question was "Why does God let bad things happen?"

I can't tell you how many times we get that question in our ministry, as I'm sure lots of you do, too. But the points he made were just so good. And, at one point he mentioned that sometimes we need the bad things to happen so we can be disciplined. Most of us don't like this point. :P But, he pointed out some scriptures to support this, and then said something about how, as children, we don't always like it but we need to be corrected. I whispered in dh's ear, "Don't you dare look over at insert-16yos-name-here." To which we both just laughed. A second or so passed, and 16yos leaned over to his dad and said, "Not one word from either of you." To which we all started giggling almost out of control. LOL

Anyway, the other points the pastor made were good, too. He talked about how the human race had really chosen for Him to be separate from our affairs (ala, Adam & Eve), that God is able to use horrible circumstances and even when we think things are out of control, God is really in control. These are all points I've heard (and made) before. And as much as I was gleaning from the service today, I really felt like this sermon was for someone else, too.

The rest is not for public view. :o)