Monday, August 13, 2012

Get off your ash!

“Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes” (Job 2:8).

I dearly love the Book of Job. The year our son died I had lost two other basic relationships, all three deaths within months of each other, and all suddenly with no time for goodbyes. I found my comfort in the Old Testament, Job and Isaiah especially. On the third reading of Job I decided that one big message is: God trusts us!  We always speak of our trusting God, but it came through so clearly that God trusted Job enough to allow Satan to do his terror. What a comfort that was, to know that God trusted me to get through this time in my life when I wanted so much not to wake up the next morning. I learned that God would hold on to my hand; that if any letting go happened, it would be on my side, not His.

I received an email one year that really touched my heart and I’d like to share it. It’s titled Get Off Your Ash: “In Job 2:8 we see a picture of a man who took an instrument to scratch his itch and sat down among the ashes ... We have a choice. We can sit down on our ash, the thing we don’t like that seems painful for the moment but in the end will produce a full measure of eternity, or we can rise and walk in the newness of life He has set before us.  We all have an individual ash we just can’t seem to get off of: an issue of life we can’t part with, a hurt we can’t let go of, a brother or sister we can’t forgive or a memory we can’t release. Let’s realize the Father is waiting for us to rise up and allow Him to restore to us seven fold and give us beauty for our ashes (Is. 61:3).” Healing Love Outreach Ministries. Thank you, Dominica and Carrie!

Actually this sublime book does not answer the question of grief but it helps us to better understand the reasons for the sorrows that touch every life. The question is not the why of evil and anguish, for that we can never answer, but the how: how is it accepted and how is it overcome? It is in this life and on this earth that we join the battle and win the victory. "What is the meaning of all this?" is the afflicted heart's challenge to the Man on the cross. The meaning was found when He arose on that golden resurrection morning to give us a new translation of love and life, and a blessed hope.

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