Monday, April 28, 2014

when the story of Job makes a child happy

Boy 3 likes to flip his bible open randomly and read whatever he opens to. Yesterday, he played this "Bible Roladex" game and ended up in Job 38. After he read the chapter, he looked up at me from the other side of the sofa with a pensive face.

"Mom, I seriously love Job 38."

You just never know what children will think of the bible.

"Really? What did you like about it?" I asked, trying not to smile. When you don't know how to respond to your child, ask for more information.

"I like how God says, 'Where were you?' all the time. How He tells Job he doesn't have the right to question Him."

Again, I say, you just never know what children will think of the bible.

So we talked about suffering, about this ancient story that proves society changes, but people really are still like this, searching for reasons, giving short-sighted advice, and shaking their fists at God when the pain is too hard to bear.

God is always asking the same question. The gospel, now realized through Jesus, eternally offers the same option to God's people. From heaven it breaks forth:

"Are you willing to suffer in this way so that you can know Me more?"

When the suffering is great, it is tempting to run from this question. But if the courage can be found to submit to suffering for the sake of knowing Jesus, true peace and transformation become possible.

When you're ten years old, and the greatest suffering you have experienced is a hefty chore list on a gorgeous Saturday, I suppose this seems acceptable. But I know many who have suffered greatly, and when they have stepped onto the bitter road with open hearts, seeking Jesus, they have been a sign and a wonder to all who know them.

These gospel people are those who don't cry out against God, but call out for God.

They don't ask for justice, they plead for mercy.

They don't seek after comfort, they stand and are set free.

And on that great day, when Christ's reign comes and they stand before the judgement seat of Christ, they will not stand alone. The One they have followed through the suffering, the great Light they have clung to in the storms, the true Love for whom they have chosen to be broken and poured out into the world, He will stand with them, covering them with His righteousness, and call them His own.

That is why we can love Job 38. Boy 1 is right. It's fabulous.

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