Date: 5th March 2018
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5 (NIV)
Is it possible to believe or think that we know God, yet fail to recognise our own spiritual poverty? We may read the scriptures, pray and do the ‘right’ thing, but do we really ‘know’ this God we proclaim? Job thought he did, but when the going got tough, and he didn’t see God protecting him the way he assumed and expected God would, he became confused and doubted! He mistakenly thought that because he was righteous, he would escape suffering!
Sadly many of us have known or experienced much heartache, and loss. For some of us it seems that God is a god of vengeance and punishment. Or worse, a god who is indifferent to our suffering. Experiential knowledge of God’s goodness is essential if we are to overcome the trials we face.
How do we see God’s goodness in the midst of suffering? Firstly we need to realise that it is not God’s job to remove the suffering (don’t get me wrong, God often does but it is not guaranteed!). If we hold to this theology we are likely to become disillusioned with God. God’s peace (shalom) is there through the darkness of pain and isolation. God is with us in the suffering. It is in the presence of God that we find our refuge.
Secondly we need to train our eyes and hearts to perceive the presence of God in everyday events. God communicates love and grace in a myriad of ways; we need to train ourselves to not only expect them, but to recognise them. Then we need to take the time to let the beauty, wonder and joy seep deep into our souls. It is there that love and peace refreshes and restores our very being. Then like Job we can say “now my eyes have seen the Lord!”
Lord, hear my hearts cry; help me to see you in the small and wondrous things I encounter every day. Teach my heart to connect with you, and truely see you in a way that transforms my knowledge of you.
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