“If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!” Job 23:3 (NIV)
With every bullying prevention week that goes by, we’re all reminded of how cruel kids can be. It seems to be getting worse and worse. Tender hearts are broken everyday on the playground. Personalities are wounded in the hallways. Characteristics that God layered into the fabric of who we are have been stripped down and shoved into lockers.
What’s more leveling than how bad bullying has gotten?
They get it from us.
Kids mimic what they see and speak what they hear. They are listening, and the tone we amplify is reflected in their classroom and out on the practice fields.
In today’s verse, Job is responding to some friends that have come to “advise” him. His life had fallen a part, and they remained convinced that he’d gotten what he’d deserved, a just punishment for sin.
“I’m not letting up—I’m standing my ground.
My complaint is legitimate.
God has no right to treat me like this—
it isn’t fair!
If I knew where on earth to find him,
I’d go straight to him.
I’d lay my case before him face-to-face,
give him all my arguments firsthand.
I’d find out exactly what he’s thinking,
discover what’s going on in his head.
Do you think he’d dismiss me or bully me?
No, he’d take me seriously.
He’d see a straight-living man standing before him;
my Judge would acquit me for good of all charges.” Job 23:1-7 (MSG)
Job longs to for an audience with God to ask Him “why.” He’s at a loss as to why God has abandoned and failed to defend Him in the way Job wants Him to. His friends are maddening him with their reasoning for his suffering.
How terrible is it stand helpless while our character is compromised?
For a time Job felt hopeless. He wrestled with God about the unfairness of it all. We, too can wrestle like Job.
Bullying: abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger (Merriam-Webster)
Jesus is at the forefront of our minds at Chrsitmastime, but He’s always sitting at the right hand of the Father. He intercedes for us, loves us, and defends us when we cannot. His tender heart understands the ridicule of this world because He endured it, Himself.
Whether we understand our pain this side of heaven or not, we can trust Jesus. What Job longed for …a way to reach out to God …we have. Every heart that has accepted Christ has His very Spirit living in it.
That’s how we survive the locker door slamming in our face …the push into the wall …the trip into the mulch …and the snicker of laughter behind us.
Sometimes, even when we’re surrounded, we feel all by ourselves in this world. But we’re not. A baby was born, on Christmas Day …and He’s not left us since …
Father, Praise You for JESUS! Thank you, that we don’t have to suffer in wonder of where you are as Job did. This side of the cross, we know that Jesus lives, and has redeemed our lives from the deadly penalty of sin. Forgive us for taking daily life with Your Spirit residing in our very hearts for granted, and help us to spread Your love and truth to encourage others in their salvation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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