The evening news was discouraging. Politics, the aftermath of a natural disaster, people in despair, the economy…rough stuff. One understands on a greater level why the ‘Great Depression’ had that a very accurate name, and one wonders about the similarities to our current situation. It appears that harder economic times will affect all of us…at least everyone we know. Most everyone has already felt some of the sting. I just talked to two people, that as of yesterday, no longer have their jobs. People are hurting.
I so appreciate that I am able to watch the evening news with a former history teacher and someone who was involved in politics at the city level at one point during his life. It is my dear husband. I pepper him with questions about the Great Depression and the gobbildy-gook going on in Washington. One reason I like to turn to history and to then engage in Bible reading is for the sense of perspective it gives us, especially in these times. My daily reading took me to the book of Job where things weren’t so rosy for this perfectly nice moral God-fearing guy. In the nineteenth and twentieth chapters he is trying to defend himself against his so-called friends, he is physically in pain and what seems to be the icing on the cake is that everyone, and I mean everyone, has rejected him. Even his wife finds his breath repulsive. Talk about reasons to be depressed!
But then Job does this wonderful thing. Amid reciting all the agonies of his current life he has a moment of clarity. It’s like he suddenly lifts his head up, sees the clouds, sees the rays of sun beating warm upon his hurting body and says, “But as for me, I know my Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see Him for myself. Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! (Job 19:25-27 NLT).
It’s so interesting that Job breaks out with this beautiful truth in the midst of his suffering. The bottom line was his hope was in God. Job didn’t deny how bad things were going. He talked about it a lot, as I’m sure we all would given the same set of circumstances. Yet his moment of perspective was vital for his stability and well being. It was a glimpse of truth.
A couple more encouraging verses to uplift us when we are undergoing things beyond our understanding: “The eternal God is your refuge; and His everlasting arms are under you. (Deuteronomy 33:27a). And, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5b). Sometimes nights are long, but the morning is as sure as our current experiences. With the Apostle Paul we can concur: “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (I Corinthians 13:12).
May you experience some moments of clarity today, may you be caused to lift your head and feel some rays of sun beating warm upon your soul. And may you be encouraged that even if we don’t see it now, there is a bigger picture on the horizon.