Oh, has it been hot here in the valley. Today was our first break away from the 100+ degree mark in quite a few days. I will admit that I am a complainer when it comes to the discomfort of heat. I do not like the feeling of exhaustion that usually comes over me during these heat waves. I dislike being cooped up in air conditioning all day and night to keep somewhat cool. But, most of all I dislike the sticky feeling I get when out in the weather. Added to the heat is the brown fog that we have been living in since the fires began.
It just seems to sink into this valley.
Now, a bit of positive reflection....I do like getting into the pool with the kids which only happens when it gets incredibly hot. I also enjoy succeeding at pushing myself to get out in the heat and keep life going. And, I am very thankful for the air conditioning as it not only keeps us warm but it means the house is closed up keeping the smoky air out.
We have been reading Job as a family. The first chapter is the surprising events that take place in Job's life. We talked about the four servants that came to him and gave him the bad news. Job's response? "The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." I asked the kids if others saw this phrase being emulated in our lives.
The second chapter revealed Job's health changing. Taking chards of pottery to shear off your boils sounds incredibly painful. But, more painful to Job might be his wife whose heart is quite different than Job's. She says to Job "Curse God and Die.". Now there's a help-mate! I would think that he might have a moment of wishing that she had died.
At the end of the second chapter we are introduced to Job's three very dedicated friends. Dedication indeed! At least at this point they keep their mouths quiet.
That will change as we get further into the book.
The third chapter is so much my heart right now. It is fairly easy to judge Job in the wrong way when you read this chapter because it seems that he is pounding his fists on the ground in defiance to God's sovereign will. But, as I walk through this valley I am realizing that his words do not show a rebelliousness but rather a speaking of his sorrow. He wishes that he had never been born so he would not have to had been dealt this painful blow...he wishes that he could leave this life. I understand those feelings of despair. But, reading between the lines is the solid foundation of his belief that God is the God of the universe. He is the God of the past, present, and future. He is the God of all tragedy and all joy. This is what I believe whole-heartedly and I believe that Job, who was considered an upright and righteous man, knew the same. He knew that God ordained his affliction. Even better, Satan was shown helpless. Satan had to taunt the God of the universe to be able to work what he thought was his way.
We have not made our way past chapter three but I warned the kids that we are heading into the "what not to do" part of the book. We will see the tragedy of not understanding the sovereignty of God. Isn't God good to give us such an example of grief and suffering? Isn't it also as good that God gives us a look at how not to be a friend to someone who is grieving?
Strangers are strange. They say strange things that, I am sure, will sound familiar when reading about Job's friends. On the other hand, my friends have been very kind, generous, and loving. Sure, they have said things that give away the fact that they have no idea what I am going through but I know it is all said in love.
So, back to the heat and brown fog....I have been convicted through the past few days to stop complaining. What really do I have to complain about? And, do I really have enough time in my life to waste on such a frivolous thing? Instead, I must grieve and live. Live... knowing that God is good and His will is perfect.