The thought caught me off guard when I was reading through Job’s story, agonizing with him in his questions, despising the dastardly wiles of Satan as he taunted God about Job’s seeming cupboard love. “He only worships You because You have blessed him and You protect him. Take that away and he will curse You to Your face.” This was not Job’s reputation on the line. This was about God, about whether He is trustworthy or not. So God gave Satan permission to take it all away, all but his breath. Can you imagine how much God must have trusted that Job would continue to worship Him in the middle of all his afflictions?
I read Job’s protests of blamelessness to his uncomforting friends who thought surely he had sinned to deserve all this calamity. I feel his bewildered questions, the lack of divine rescue causing him such turmoil. And yet, Job worshiped! Not once did he blaspheme God with accusations of unfaithfulness. Job worshiped in the face of the most inscrutably unfair events that could have possibly come into his life.
I shake my head in amazement. Can I understand inscrutable? Am I okay with a God so sovereign? One Who may give the Devil permission to make my life uncomfortable as hell? I mean that literally.
People say, “Oh, God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I no longer agree with that statement. I think He gives us more than we can handle pretty often. I believe that He wants us to find Him there, in our problems. I am simple enough to believe that He still says to Satan, “Have you seen my faithful servant down there, who will worship Me in every circumstance?”
If there is anything I have learned in the last few years of plodding toward Gabe’s nursing degree, it is this: I have settled it, deep down in my soul, that I CANNOT. Having always liked to be organized, capable, and managed, it was a difficult place for me. I had more than I could handle. A lot more. All I had to do was admit it, and I found a “strength in trouble”. I discovered new depths of ugliness in my flesh, and realized profoundly that anything sweet and lovely in my life comes purely from the redeeming work of Jesus.
For this faithfulness, I worship. While I would not ever suggest that my life parallels that of Job, I do know that I worship God in a different way than I did before severe testings came my way, those things I hated that I could not handle or fix. I am guessing Job did, too, when he was on the other side of his abyss of trials.
Maybe you feel “thrown under the bus” because of circumstances that are crushing you. Maybe God is showing Satan that you will worship Him anyway.
3 thoughts on “Does God Throw People Under the Bus?”
What a strange feeling to read this. I am deep in the book of Job right now, and just last evening I was telling Arlin how it stood out to me that in the moment of total devastation, Job’s heart turned to worship God. As I read those same chapters you refer to yesterday and this morning (yes, really!!) I kept thinking of people I love who are experiencing deep suffering (news of a terrible cancer, grieving the death of sons etc.) and how much I want them to be assured that it’s NOT a punishment- they were chosen to model grace BECAUSE their lives are outstanding and upright. They are “making much of Him” in the middle of their tragedy.
We are experiencing the realities of spiritual warfare in some counseling we are doing, and it is reassuring for me to realize that this battle between God and Satan over my/our souls was going on back then already.
Loved fellowshipping with you today- in HIS Word!!!
Linda, I loved your comment. I have no glib answers. I know it can sound trite to tell someone who is suffering that they just need to worship and trust. I have seen people whose hearts are sold out to Jesus go through anguish, and yet lift their hands and through the streaming tears proclaim that God is good.
This blog entry brought tears to my eyes. My discovery of Gods goodness also came through pain. pain I could not even begin to handle or bear on my own. Worshiping God through the storm is bliss, its tangible, its not a fight with ones self, its a strength that is as tangible as my kitchen table. And you are right, God does give us more then we can handle, but he doesn’t ever make us go through it by ourself. He is present. God is so good, no matter what! (God never tempts us, maybe that is where the pat little “God never gives more” answer comes from?)