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June – the time of Job… and Jeremiah

District photoDevotional Thought of the Day:

“Why do you still trust God? Why don’t you curse him and die?”
10 Job replied, “Don’t talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well.” In all that happened, Job never once said anything against God.  Job 2:9-10 CEV. 

Give your whole self to God and to His images, your brothers and sisters. Risk. Be crazy. Hold nothing back. Don’t be reasonable. Don’t be an investor. Be a lover.
Tell God right now that this is the one thing you want above all: the gift of loving Him completely. Tell Him you will never let Him go until He blesses you thus. Tell Him that even in eternity you will not let Him go until you are 100 percent love. And then you will never want to let Him go.

“when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help;”

This week I one of the lectionary readings to preach on what has become, if not a favorite passage, at least a life theme.  No, it’s not the Job reading above.

It might be worse,

Here it is.

7 You tricked me, LORD, and I was really fooled. You are stronger than I am, and you have defeated me. People never stop sneering and insulting me….9 Sometimes I tell myself not to think about you, LORD, or even mention your name. But your message burns in my heart and bones, and I cannot keep silent. Jeremiah 20:7,9 (CEV)

I have to admit there have been times where I have felt this way, seriously felt this way.  Not enough to assent to Job’s wife’s demand, but where situations cause despair and distress that is overwhelming and makes you want to yell at God.

just like Jeremiah did.

Sort of like I wanted Job to do…

Jeremiah did… Job didn’t.

What made Job able to do it?  What made him able to accept the curses as well as the blessings?  What is the difference between these readings that always seem to coincide in my life.

And why can’t I be more like Job?  Why can’t I help others to be more like Job?

Maybe Job was more like Jacob, displaying the attitude Peter Kreeft describes at the end of his best book. (One of the top 5 books in my life, I think – just finishing it, I need to read it again!) May Job understood what Spurgeon described, the need to cry for help… that was so great you couldn’t hold it in… and God listened.

Jeremiah was young… maybe Job had experienced it before.. and knew. he could cry.. and God would be there.

In times like this, I need to hold on, to demand that God can only be free of me when he helps me love Him, and those who bear His image, completely.  Nothing else need matter except that, and truly, that is what I need to hold on to, to the fact that God can change us, and will complete that work.

I just need to hold on, to trust, to demand the blessing of being transformed into the image of the One who loved that purely.  (That probably means I need to pray for the strength to do that as well. That I can do it year-round, not just in my annual encounter with Job and Jeremiah…)

I am pretty sure you need this as well, so let’s pray for each other, let’s beg God on each other’s behalf…

Lord, help us hold on.

AMEN!
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 225.

C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).

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