The Journey Home: Feeling Like Job, Beyond Foolish

My son’s 25th birthday was a few days ago. The long silence from God has weighed heavily on both of us. Days of hopelessness. The reason that his birthday has relevance is because he wanted so much to have resolution or even some progress towards our new home. His birthday came and went without either.

I was just hoping that if progress didn’t come towards the new home, that at least God would provide something special to mark that special occasion. With the restrictions that the pandemic have imposed, along with heightened fears from new records of cases of Covid-19, a special celebration at a favorite restaurant was out of the question. With all of the anxiety, stress, spiritual warfare that has surrounded this move, my energy is used up about as fast as it comes. All that I could do was to go out and get cheesecake, and take out that he said that he wanted. I picked up some icing to write on the cheesecake with. And I picked up a surprise, a pumpkin pie, another favorite. I even picked up some cookie icing to write on them with.

And I wrote beautiful things to commemorate the occasion. I went to grab my phone to take some pictures, and by the time I got back to the stove where the pie in the cheesecake were, the writing was already running and blurring. Within no time, the pumpkin pie just had sort of a blue lake in the center. The cheesecake fared only a little better. It turns out that cookie icing is primarily sugar, and is not intended for moist environments.

So there wasn’t anything that was special. Even a new medication that he was on spoiled his appetite for the takeout.

As I went to bed that night, I was so angry with God. Accusations welled up within me. He was heartless, insensitive, downright cruel, … I tried to fight them. I kept saying that they weren’t true. But my emotions were convinced that they were. I would go back and forth, but eventually I realized that it was deeper than emotions. I very well knew that the accusations came from the accuser. But I was agreeing with him. I had agreed with him. I don’t know whether I was crushed by that realization before I fell asleep or after.

The next morning, I knew how Job felt when he said “I put my hand over my mouth”. (Job 4:4) Job knew that he was wrong. He knew that he had accused God of some of the very same things that I had. He knew in an instant that God was none of those things. He knew that he had agreed with those lies, even if they hadn’t originated with him. He knew God’s total innocence of any wrongdoing. And I did too.

Holy Spirit seemed to just go on. I was waiting for this scathing rebuke that Job had experienced. “Who is it that darkens my counsel?”

6 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said, 7 “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:6-8 – NASB)

And many others. But none of that came. Just more of a “We have an understanding.” The understanding is that He is God, and I am not. He always operates from truth and love. I can’t find truth and love, unless He shows me. His grace is always available. He is always available, and beside me. All that I have to do is reach out, and receive. But I don’t. I need grace even to reach out and receive. And sometimes, like the previous night, I don’t.

The way that Job put it was

 Then Job answered the LORD and said, 2 “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” 4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; 6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:1-6)

I know that Scripture says that we are grafted in to Him. But somehow, I feel that His purpose is to graft His word into us. This time, Job’s experience became grafted a little deeper.