Even in those darkest of hours.
Surely there have been days when you’ve questioned what you possibly could have done that warranted the hand that you’ve been dealt in life. You flip through your “mental Rolodex” searching for the thought, word, or deed that caused this! What seed did you sow that resulted in the crop that you’re reaping? What if, after truly searching even the darkest corners of your mind, you come to the conclusion that you’ve done nothing?
Such was the case with Job. In Job 31, he recounted all the ways in which he had chosen to live his life, according to what he believed to be pleasing in God’s eyes. As you read Job’s self-examination, you realize that he had patterned his life on the teachings of Jesus, long before Jesus walked the face of this earth! Remarkable! This man truly had the Mind of Christ, or as close as mortal man could come to it.
When Job lost everything that he had (not as a result of anything wrong that he’d done, but because he was a righteous man), Job challenged not only his friends, but any man to find an offense against God and man that he had committed. He proclaimed that if he was indeed guilty, he would gladly accepted any and all consequences for his actions.
The sad truth is that the adage You reap what you sow doesn’t always stand up to reality, does it?
It’s evidenced throughout the world today, and we don’t have to look hard or far, to see it. Foreclosures, bankruptcy, and unemployment are at an all time high. Turn on the television and check out the world news, if you dare. Innocent children are starving to death. You don’t really believe that all of these people sowed a bad seed, do you?
Okay, perhaps those examples are a bit extreme. What if you had a really bad day, which turns into a week, which turns into a month, and seems to have no end in sight? How do you react to your situation?
Do you get defensive? Do you withdraw into your own little world? Do you wallow in self pity? Do you get angry with the world? Do you get mad at God? Do you, as did Job, make a case for yourself to God, believing that what you’re going through just isn’t fair?
Or do you turn to God, not to complain, but to seek the real comfort and strength that’s only available through His Spirit?
Perhaps we should draw courage from God’s assurance that “...I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
You see, God wants us to put our faith in Him, to trust in Him, and to look to Him for everything we need, even in those darkest of hours that we don’t think we deserve. As with Job, sometimes what we’re dealing with has nothing to do with what we’ve done right or wrong.
Perhaps you find yourself in that very situation today. For reasons that only God knows, you’re faced with an obstacle that you cannot get over, around, or under without Him. Perhaps, like Job, you’re on the verge of losing everything that you have, and you just don’t know why.
The big question then becomes not what you have or haven’t done, or if you can make a case for yourself, or why it had to happen to you, but if you’re gonna cast all your cares on God to get you through it. Even in those darkest of hours.