A small flame

A small flame

He knows you're going to soar

If you could imagine talking with God, just as you began a trial, what would that conversation look like? More importantly, how do you envision God during this conversation? What expression do you 'see' on his face? What tone do you 'hear' in his voice?

I hadn't thought specifically about this until recently, but I'd have to say that the way I envisioned God in this imaginary meeting was.... serious. Very earnest, with that ''this is important, so you'd better listen'' tone in his voice that I sometimes use with my kids. And, maybe, just a hint of skepticism in his eyes. 'This is important.' he'd say. 'This is an important test and you really need to pass it.'

But I heard something recently that is changing my mental script for this hypothetical meeting with God in a not-so-hypothetical way.

On Sunday nights I'm attending a small Bible study lead by one of the elders at our church. I so appreciate anything this Godly man has to share because he overflows with compassion and gentleness, as well as sound theology.

1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. . . 6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Isn't it funny how we can read a story so many times and still find something new in it? Here's what our Bible study teacher told us::

It is so very important that you understand God's disposition toward you when you go through a trial. It is not a negative or skeptical one. Rather, it is a confident one!

{After all, didn't He choose you from eternity past? Didn't he give you a new heart and send his Spirit to live inside of you? Doesn't he already know that you are secure and that no one can snatch you from His hand?}

Rather than being, as I had viewed him, seriously and perhaps a bit skeptically saying 'Here's your next test - I hope you pass it', God stands watching me - you - begin a trial with a knowing smile and a confident gleam in his eye. He has the attitude of a proud father toward his beloved child. As I begin to walk my trial-path, he nods his head and says for all the unseen world to hear, 'That's my daughter. Look what she can do! She is going to excel at this. Watch her! She's going to soar!'

That's an image that leaves me speechless.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things?

If God is for us, who can be against us?
So be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

- Romans 8:29-31 with Philippians 1:6


No comments: