Hanging On Every Word

hanging on every word

The dialog in the book of Job is tedious, to say the least. I got to the part where Job and his “friends” had gone back and forth and they were finally done speaking. Then some young whipper-snapper chimes in and tries to share his wisdom. I have prepared my heart to listen and not disregard him simply because of his age – well, as long as I can call him a whipper-snapper. I am all set, ears and heart open… and… the Internet goes out for two full days, leaving me hanging. I have read it before several times but the Holy Spirit reveals new things each time we read the same words, so I am ready.

I’m still waiting. No Internet, still.

That’s okay, it is a good opportunity to examine why I would call someone young a whipper-snapper and if I really had an open heart to hear his words to Job and his friends. 

If I shut out whipper-snappers then do I fully hear the voice of God in my own life??

Probably not, but I will maintain that some of the whipper-snappers in my life have not yet reached their moments of wisdom. That probably includes me!!! Not every word I speak is wise, it is simply that simple for all of us.

Charles Swindol is one of my very favorite preachers. He has touched my heart for 25 years. One of the reasons I like him so much is his humility. He is very funny too, oh my, the times I have roared in laughter!

Swindol has always declared that even he does not agree with everything he has said in the past. As he repeats this over the decades, he includes that what he is currently saying may even become obsolete in the future. He is not saying that about God’s word, he is saying it about his words. 

I love it because it is the truth. None of us get all of our words and thoughts perfectly correct all the time. 

As we grow, learn and are humbled, our views develop through the twists and turns of life. We get to experience God in new ways as He shows up over and over again through our years. 

I have to patiently wait for the Internet to get resolved to read the rest of the story in the book of Job. Through years and decades of chronic illness, I have learned more about patience. 

I have also learned that I lost the eyes of a child. Not sure I ever had them to be honest. I want those eyes too. I want to be able to see the simplicity that God tries to teach us as life tries to take us in the opposite direction.

Chronic illness can be an opportunity to call a time-out and attempt to connect with the simplicity of God. We already are experiencing the complexities, I want to also vividly see that child-like simplicity.

Healing has come in many forms for me in the last few years. For one, forgiving myself for simply not being perfect. Finally learning to smile at the fact. Part of illness is learning that we have to reduce the stress in our lives. Some of the undo stress is in our thought process. Boy, can I make things more complicated because I cannot get all the right words organized and spit out “correctly.”

Opportunity of chronic illness — growing into who we are and enjoying ourselves exactly how we are. We can grow our character at the same time we are finding acceptance for who we are.

Back to Job…

Job in his despair does not get every single word as “correct” as his friends wish. And his friends don’t even come close!!! And poor Job’s wife. Her words reflect her intense pain and grief and she rarely gets a break from the reader’s judgment. What a mess… or is it???

The book of Job is one of those examples of no one getting their words and thoughts perfectly organized and spit out correctly. Things get jumbled. Emotions get stirred and set on fire. Beliefs get questioned. Feelings are beyond hurt. What a perfect example of reality.

There are many insights through the Book of Job. Most have nothing to do with thoughts and words getting jumbled but that is what is being revealed to me this year as I read it again (Bible-In-A-Year). 

Days have passed and the Internet is back up. I get to read what the young whipper-snapper has to say. I will be open to the words of someone without the extended years. I will attempt to listen instead of disregard. Just as I should do in life to people I encounter. 

People are people. Extending grace for others jumbled words provides me the opportunity to just maybe extend that grace to myself as well. God certainly must get tickled with some of the ridiculous things we all say and feel. I trust that He looks at us as we do our young children, with incredible unconditional love. Only He does it better, what a treat. I will soak that in today!!!

What is God telling YOU about this?

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