A Job-like mindset

My small group has decided that we are going to read the entire book of Job this semester and I honestly couldn’t be more excited. I’m not going to lie, I had the BEST Sunday School teachers all throughout middle and high school, but the one thing I wish we’d have done more of was read some of the books that are often “left out”. I say this because we typically read the “big” books such as the Gospels, The Epistles, Acts, Revelations, and then the Pentateuch or the books of law; traditionally the first five books of the Old Testament, and finally the Psalms. I can honestly say I don’t remember ever reading anything from Ezra, or Nahum, or Haggai. These books must’ve made it into the Bible for some reason right? Maybe it’s just because I hardly ever paid attention when I was younger? That’s probably the reason. Anyways, so we are reading Job and I’ve read the first chapter already. Just in the first chapter, Job goes from having everything; family, crops, a house, to losing everything and what does he say? “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Then a bit later it says “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.” WHAT?! This guy has everything going right for him, and all of a sudden his donkeys and oxen were taken, servants killed, fire consumed his sheep, his camels were taken, and all his children were killed. Job, shaves his head, tore off his clothes and worshipped God. I don’t know about y’all, but if that had happened to me I would’ve been furious with the Lord! Not Job. Nope, he gets on his knees and basically says, “God, you give and you can take away and that’s okay. Blessed be your name.”

For most of us, we have things that happen in our lives that come up and just are awful. We have family members that suddenly are diagnosed with a terminal illness, family and friends that die, our parents get divorced, or we just have a bad day and it appears that everything that day is not going to go our way, and bad things do happen. Typically, when things like the above happen we throw a fit. We do things we don’t normally do, like break things, or we do something that I have seen numerous people do when things like this happen; we go numb. We don’t feel anything; we just go through our lives in a numb-like state. I know for a fact there have been days, weeks even, when I’ve just gone through the motions, completely oblivious to my surroundings and other people. Did I talk to God about it? Did I praise him and bless his name? No, and I should have. Just a couple weeks ago, I was so overwhelmed with school, work, my sorority, with everything that I had to do on a day to day basis, that I became numb. I didn’t smile, I didn’t make an effort to talk to people, I got into a huge fight with my brother (we’re good now), and I became the person I don’t want to be; snappy, irritable, and not a pleasant person in general. It took me leading a small group at one of the high school youth retreats; SHYC, listening to some of my kids at work, and reading a chapter from a book to realize that I needed to snap out it!

It’s in times like these that we often go numb and divert all our attention to what’s going wrong in our lives, or to keeping ourselves so busy that we don’t have time to think about things that are happening. We need to start having the mindset of Job in a world filled with worry and stress. Let’s praise the Lord when things happen in our lives whether good or bad, because it’s the events in our lives that shape us into whom we will/are becoming!

 

 

-Mary

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