Saturday, December 6, 2008

Turn Away From Me So I Can Have A Moment of Joy

You remember the story of Job? He was God's loyal servant and God tested his faith by causing him many great trials and tribulations. Job questioned God but he didn’t turn his abandon his faith. (See Job10:1-20 below). Right now I feel as if I were being sucked into an abyss of grief. It’s not just losing the house and all it represents. It’s not just Darryl’s job loss. It’s not just the changes in our plans for the coming year. It’s those things and so much more.

I know that times like this can provide the gift of a strengthen character. When we are in the midst of things we sometimes become blinded to the peripherals and our focus becomes single minded. It is in confronting and mastering difficulties that our highest accomplishments are found. Letting go of the reigns and letting God take over is frightening even when we know that he has our best interest at heart.

I know some might say, “Gee Cathy you sure are getting worked up over that house. Some people don’t have a house. Some people have to live on a park bench.” Some people might say “Cathy you have a job that pays you well and gives you more days off than any other job I know. You alone make a very good salary.” It hasn’t been that I don’t realize those things. When you are going through something you don’t feel comforted by the fact that others are doing less well. How could you?

Last week, I spoke with a co-worker who is going through family difficulties that have long term consequences. I love this woman because she is so incredibly caring. We talked for a little while and joked that we should run away. It was a joke because we both knew that neither one of us could abandon those that we loved. We both knew that the problems would not be solved by running away to the coast of Maine. I joked that in our next lives we would come back as pampered pups. I would have a mistress who would hire a groomer that would brush my silky coat every day. I would have a pink satin pillow to lay on and prissy foo foo toys for my enjoyment. We were laughing and for a little while our concerns were trivialized.

Yesterday I was riding home with a friend. She was grieving for her brother who has been told he has about a year to live. In the scheme of things losing my house is not even a blip on that satellite.

I realize that in the great scheme of things I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve. I realize that through the prism of time I will see that everything did happen for a reason and that the plan God has set for me was the best one. I realize that in the face of every challenge I meet there is a lesson to learn and a gift to receive. I know these things.

The best way for me to describe what is going on with me right now is to ask you to watch some of those old Godzilla Movies or UltraMan TV shows. In those shows you’d see Japanese people speaking heavily accented English. Their mouths would move but they were never in sync with the words that were being said. Sometimes the camera would be focused on a female and the voice of a male character who spoke three minutes previously would be heard. It’s like my head, my heart, and my spirit are all working to tell the same story but they are hopelessly out of sync which makes the story hopelessly difficult to follow.

Yesterday when I picked up the FedEx envelope off our front porch my heart did a leap. At first I imagined it just like a movie. A contest won. A check received that would save the house. Instead I looked at the return address and saw it was from Darryl’s job. My heart dared to hope it was a letter profusely apologizing to Darryl for the mix-up. Instead it was his last check and I just became a step closer to being resolute in the face of losing the house.

I asked Darryl if he heard from the man who was supposed to make us an offer on the house. No he hadn’t. It’s been several days. We are selling it at a great loss and are asking the bank to accept it as paid in full. It would help us avoid taking a hit on our credit. The silent acceptance of where I stand is becoming more concrete with each passing day.

So for those who feel that I have tossed off my faith in the face of what I am facing, I have not. I know it is easier to believe when things are going well but for me it is those trying times when I need to believe the most. Last night I began taking a mental inventory of all the gifts that God has laid before me and I realized for the 18,015 time that I have been blessed far more than I ever deserved.

Does this mean I won’t feel sad, complain, cry out? No. I’m not a saint. I am mortal and that means I have failings. I must live life one day at a time. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow but rest in the assurance that God will be even closer tomorrow if only I let him.

Job 10:1-20

Job 10:1 “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 10:2 I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what chargesd you have against me.
Job 10:3 Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?
Job 10:4 Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?
Job 10:5 Are your days like those of a mortal or your years like those of a man,
Job 10:6 that you must search out my faults and probe after my sin
Job 10:7 though you know that I am not guilty and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
Job 10:8 “Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?
Job 10:9 Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?
Job 10:10 Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese,
Job 10:11 clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me togetherr with bones and sinews?
Job 10:12 You gave me lifes and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Job 10:13 “But this is what you concealed in your heart, and I know that this was in your mind:
Job 10:14 If I sinned, you would be watching mex and would not let my offense go unpunished.
Job 10:15 If I am guilty—woe to me!a Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction.
Job 10:16 If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a liond and again display your awesome power against me.
Job 10:17 You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave.
Job 10:18 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
Job 10:19 If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
Job 10:20 Are not my few daysl almost over? Turn away from men so I can have a moment’s joy

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