Monday, February 16, 2015

Blessing {sharing my current heart}

I am currently doing the "365 Days of Truth" reading plan with #SheReadsTruth (one of my favorite online communities!), and we just finished the book of Job last week.

I'm going to share something that has been on my heart for a long time, but I haven't really written about it yet because I needed to be on the other side of it...if that makes sense. 

If you aren't familiar with Job's story - let me give you the quick version. Job is super faithful. The first verses of the book of Job describe him as "blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil". Job is also mega-rich and has a pretty great life.

So, Satan challenges God -- suggesting that the only reason Job is so faithful to God is because God has protected and blessed Job. And God basically gives Satan permission to ruin Job's life -- God tells Satan: "everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself, do not lay a finger."

For the next 30+ chapters, Job's life falls apart. He loses EVERYTHING -- but yet he still doesn't curse God.

I'll be honest - this book is not an easy read. It had the potential to make me believe the lie that I'm not good enough, that my faith isn't strong like Job's.

But then you get to the end.
After years of devastation for Job, and chapters of reading about this sorrow...there's this:
"the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning" (Job 42:12)

I read this verse over and over this week and I cried.

Because, to tell you the truth...I've spend a lot of the past 5 years feeling a bit like Job. Clearly, my story is not as dramatic as his -- I did lose my husband, but I definitely did not lose everything. But, I have felt like I've done my best to remain faithful to God, to walk in His will, to seek Him and yet - this thing that I have prayed for over and over for 5 years has been denied. 

I wish I could tell you I have been just like Job in this - haven't cursed God or questioned or doubted, but I definitely have.

I've watched, over 5 years, friends fall in love and get engaged and get married and get divorced and get remarried. 
I've watched them have families and buy new houses and new cars and have more kids.
And I sometimes feel like I'm stuck.

Same job.
Same house.
Same car.
Same marital status. (I've called it "the scarlet W" before)

I feel like somehow, along the way, maybe I missed my chance. 
Maybe it's too late for my "happily ever after".

But then this.
"the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning"

Ok, so at 33, I'm not thinking my life is necessarily half over, but the idea of this verse that struck me is that God's blessing doesn't have a timeline. God's not like "Oh woops - I totally meant to give you that 2nd husband like 3 years you missed the chance."

You know what else chapter 42 says about God's blessing of Job? God didn't just bless Job a little bit.
"the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!" (Job 42:10)

The phrase that continues to replay in my mind is: God blesses obedience.
I've walked in obedience for 5 years. Actually, I've walked in obedience for longer than that in regards to my relationship status. I know with absolute certainty that God called me to marry Isaac. I don't understand it. But I know that God blesses obedience. The past month of my life, I've seen evidence of this all over, in so many ways I couldn't even begin to blog about them. In my Bible study, my friendships, the new person I'm dating, the songs we have sung at church, my running...every area of my life this past month has spoken "God blesses obedience". 

I don't know what God has in store for the future. But I do know that I will keep walking in His truth. I will keep doing the best I can to remain obedient to what He calls me to...because it's worth it. He is worth it.

So maybe you're feeling a bit like Job right now too. Or like an Israelite, wandering the desert (currently reading Exodus in my devotions). Maybe you've been praying for something for a long, long time...and you've watched God bless others with it and you've wondered if He will ever bless you. Keep walking. Keep being obedient. 
"If you obey God, can you expect His blessings? Yes. But remember that His choice of blessing may be different from yours. Perhaps He will use suffering to draw you closer to Himself. Or He may use it to remove from your life those things that hinder fruitfulness for Him. No matter what, if you walk in His will, He will bless you in surprising ways." (source)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing post yet again my dear. You are amazing and your blog so touches my heart. Love following your journey in life ;)