Written in March 2008
(Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
I’ve seen study after study and devotion after devotion on this verse. But until you personally experience a series of trials in your own life, and experience this verse, you really can’t fully appreciate what others are trying to explain. So it was for me! Although I was greatly blessed by reading those studies, I have to admit that it wasn’t until recently that I have fully appreciated Job 23:10! For those of you who do not know, I have two sons. Aaron just joined the U.S. Army and is at Basic Combat Training in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Adam is a U.S. Marine and is wrapping up his MOS training in Coronado, CA. My husband and I recently sold our house and downsized to a two-bedroom apartment! We were planning our retirement and were scheduled to leave Virginia after May 1st. That is, until we found out a couple of weeks ago that John has been diagnosed with cancer. Radiation, chemo, surgery and follow-up treatments are what lie in store. I truly praise the Lord that at least I have my sons and my husband! I have not suffered as Job suffered, that is for sure! But I can surely sympathize with him and understand his account so much more as I go through these trials.
It is the first part of the verse that spoke to my heart, actually. The Lord knows the way that I take! This brings me much comfort knowing that my Shepherd knows my way. He has seen the future and knows the results of all that is going on in my life! My Creator, who has numbered the very hairs on my head, knows me intimately and cares for me. No matter how discouraged I may get, I can turn to the Word and the Lord gives me something that encourages my heart! (Psa 61:2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Our Heavenly Father hears our pleas of despair and comes to our rescue! (Psa 18:6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Thank You, Lord! I glorify Your Name on high!
Job’s reputation has followed him through the ages because he was able to claim this verse in the Bible. Even to this day, we hear the phrase “He has the patience of Job.” The trials that this man suffered are unbelievable, aren’t they? Job was attacked on every side by ole slew foot! The devil attacked Job’s character, he attacked Job’s belongings (cattle, etc.), he attacked Job’s servants, he attacked Job’s family, and he attacked Job’s own body! There is no one, that I know of personally, who has been through each of these in his life time – let alone within just a few weeks! I have learned that the Lord never gives us more than we can bear! With each burden, he provides us encouragement along the way. It is up to us to search out that encouragement! The Word should be our main source of encouragement! The title of my blog shows who that Source is: (Psa 121:1) [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
I also noticed that Job did not get to the point where he cursed the day he was born until after his friends came to “comfort” him! The devil kept attacking him and saw that he could not succeed so he sent along people he could “use” to accomplish his goal – discouragement. Where do you sit today, my friend? Are you one in need of encouragement or are you to be used of God to do the encouraging? Are you the type of friend that Job had? As I searched my heart, I realized that although I was experiencing trials of my own, there are many out there who are going through things that make mine look like child’s play! What kind of friend am I to those dear ones who are suffering?
If you are one who is experiencing trials today, do you surround yourself with whiners, complainers and nay sayers? It is these types of friends who will drag you down spiritually. Surround yourself with people who love the Lord, will pray for you and are there to lend an ear just in case you need one. Turn to your spiritual mentors who will not allow you to wallow in self-pity but will help you out of the pit of despair. You cannot expect someone who cannot swim to rescue you from drowning! Therefore, do not turn to those Christians who will nurture your discouragement instead of lifting you up in the Lord.
I don’t know why the Lord laid this on my heart today. Maybe I will need this down the road – or maybe you are going through a similar trial and need to be encouraged! With that said, won’t you say as Job did, (Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.