YOU KNOW MY STORY

I keep a daily journal. In it I write down my happiest moments and my deepest griefs. There is something cathartic about writing down the pains and sorrows.

It is like someone else shares my burden. And when I record the births and triumphs, someone shares my joy.

Job’s wish was that his words would be recorded.

Job 19:23, 24, “I wish that my words could be written down or chiseled into rock.”

His words were recorded many years later and we are not sure who recorded them. His words bring comfort to us when we are sick, despairing of life, suffering a financial down turn, or at the very worst, lose a child. We can identify with the pain and emotions in Job’s words.

“You Know My Name” – Detour 180

WHEN GOOD PEOPLE SUFFER

A week from today is April Fool’s Day. For most it will be a day of practical jokes and laughter.

But for Wayland and Tara, it will be a painful day of remembrance. You see, a year ago they lost two daughters in a horrible train/car accident.

It shook the family, the community, and the county. It is so difficult to understand such a horrible tragedy.

We just can’t.

The book of Job is one of the writings of wisdom, along with Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

“This unknown author probably had access to a tradition (oral or written) about an ancient righteous man who endured great suffering with remarkable ‘perseverance’ (see James 5:11) and without turning against God (see Ezekiel 14:14, 20)…The composition of the book…could be dated anytime from the reign of Solomon to the time of Israel’s exile in Babylonia.” NIV Study Bible Notes

Since Solomon wrote the other books on wisdom: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, I decided we should read this third book on wisdom at the same time.

“…he intended his story to be told to godly sufferers who, like Job, were struggling with the crisis of faith brought on by prolonged, bitter suffering…And he knows that the godly sufferers of his day have also heard the ‘wisdom’ of the learned and have internalized it as the wisdom of the ages. But he also knows what ‘miserable’ comfort (16:2) that so-called wisdom gives – that it rubs salt in the wounds and creates a stumbling block for faith…But he has a story to tell that challenges it at its very roots and speaks to the struggling faith of the sufferer…

When good people suffer, the human spirit struggles to understand….The relationship between God and humans is not exclusive and closed. Among God’s creatures there is the great adversary (see chapters 1, 2)…As tempter he seeks to alienate humans from God (see Genesis 3; Matthew 4:1); as accuser…he seeks to alienate God from humans (see Zechariah 1:3; Revelations 12:9-10)…one of humankind’s greatest temptations: to love the gifts rather than the Giver to try to please God merely for the sake of his benefits, to be ‘religious’ and ‘good’ only because it pays.

In the end the adversary is silenced. Job’s friends are silenced. Job is silenced. God is not.” NIV Study Bible Notes

The most amazing thing to me is found in today’s verse.

Job 1:1, “Many years ago, a man named Job lived in the land of Uz. He was truly a good person, who respected God and refused to do evil.”

“…he did not belong to the people of Israel…” CEV Bible Notes

The entire Bible is written about the Hebrews or Jews. But this one book was written about a foreigner.

“No Other Name”

 

 

LIFE IS EASY GOING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

Our lives are like hiking through the mountains. We struggle to climb a mountain: pay off a debt, endure an illness, suffer a job loss. When we reach the peak life is easier: the debt is paid, health restored, we find employment.

Going down the mountain is a piece of cake compared to climbing up. But at the end is another valley: another trial, challenge, problem, etc. The answer is at the top of the next mountain and we start climbing and struggling again.

We foolishly think the top of the mountain is a plateau and we will always be this well off. We are totally shocked when the next challenge comes.

We need to live expecting challenges:

  • Be frugal; and save as much money as possible.
  • Take care of our bodies.
  • Work hard at our present job.

Only God knows what is ahead.

Ecclesiastes 7:14, “When times are good, you should be cheerful; when times are bad, think what it means. God makes them both to keep us from knowing what will happen next.”

“Blessed Be the Name of the Lord”

I WISH I HAD MORE CHILDREN

It has been a rough year. I contracted bronchitis and shared it with my husband. We’ve been sick for weeks.

My husband’s company can no longer pay into our retirement and his hours were cut. We understand; and are grateful that no one in the company lost their job.

Monday night we were discussing our pile of medical bills that totals in the thousands, and it hit me…

“We may not be rich, but we have a good life. There was roast beef for dinner and our house is warm. We are getting our health back and looking forward to our son and granddaughter’s birthdays this month!”

I was reminded of that conversation when I read today’s verse.

1 Kings 4:20, “There were so many people living in Judah and Israel while Solomon was king that they seemed like grains of sand on a beach. Everyone had enough to eat and drink, and they were happy.” CEV

The verse also made me wish we had more children! Taking care of us could have been spread out more!

Psalms 127:1-5, “Without the help of the Lord it is useless to build a home or to guard a city. It is useless to get up early and stay up late in order to earn a living. God takes care of his own, even while they sleep. Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. Having a lot of children to take care of you in your old age is like a warrior with a lot of arrows. The more you have, the better off you will be, because they will protect you when your enemies attack with arguments.” CEV

The King James Version mentions “a quiver full” off arrows. That is 12 arrows…or 12 children. My Grandma Cary had the right idea! She went for a baker’s dozen!

“Blessed Be The Name of the Lord” – Newsboys

 

 

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

The congestion in my head settled in my chest and I went for some chicken noodle soup. This old remedy may have been used in Biblical times.

2 Samuel 13:6, “So Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said, Please, ask Tamar to come over. She can make some special bread while I watch, and then she can serve me the bread.”

“Special bread: dumplings.” CEV Bible Notes

Amnon requested chicken and dumplings!

“I Will Rest In You” – Worship Together

 

ONE VOICE IN A SEA OF PAIN

There are two windows open and three fans going in my house. The exhaust fan over the stove is running on high and the front door is open.

No, I didn’t burn anything.

I am trying to remove pollen from the house. The lovely floral arrangement my husband brought home on Valentine’s Day made both of us have allergic reactions.

He threw it away, but I am still wheezing. I laughed when I read today’s verse.

Psalms 38:10, “My heart is beating fast. I feel weak all over and my eyes are red.”

Yeah, that’s what I feel like!

I am grateful that it is 41 degrees outside and the sun is heating the front room. I set a timer for fifteen minutes and I will close the house back up when it goes off.

I’m just enjoying the fresh, pollen-free air. (There is still a foot of snow on the ground.)

“Hold My Heart” – Tenth Avenue North

I THOUGHT I WAS SAFE

My eyes kept watering at home group last night. I’m sure my friend’s thought I was upset with my husband because we just started a Jimmy Evans Series on marriage.

That wasn’t the problem at all!

I cleaned the main floor for the first time in three weeks. The dust was off of the furniture, but vacuuming puts it in the air.

I planned on cleaning the basement level today, but when I woke up with red, swollen eyes and hives on my face, my husband nixed that idea.

I thought my home was a fortress from pollen; but it cannot protect me from dust.

David rescued the people of Keilah and may have felt he had found a fortress for his now 600 followers, (1 Samuel 23:13).

It was a walled city with gates that could be locked, (1 Samuel 23:7).

He had plenty of food because he captured all the cattle of the Philistine army, (1 Samuel 23:5).

He didn’t rely on his fortress; he asked God what to do, (1 Samuel 23:9).

Psalms 62:1, 2, “Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe and the fortress where I am secure.”

God told David that Saul would come and the people of Keilah would turn him over to Saul, (1 Samuel 23:12). The next verse said he got out of there fast!

David relied on direction from God and people thought he was tricky, (1 Samuel 23:22). God kept him one step ahead of Saul, (1 Samuel 23:26).

“I Love You, Oh Lord” by Intimacy

 

I Love You, Oh Lord

(Robyn Lyle)


I love You oh Lord, my strength
My fortress, my stronghold forever
The Rock of salvation, my only foundation
When the world all around me moves on

I love You oh Lord, my strength
My fortress, my stronghold forever
The Rock of salvation, my only foundation
I trust in Your holy name, oh Lord
I trust in Your holy name
(Repeat)
I love You, oh Lord
I love You Lord

 

Copyright © 1992 Mercy Publishing. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

 

 

January 31, 2014

I just slept 11 hours.

I’m no longer sick, but  I am still not up to par. My body battled infection for two weeks followed by a migraine for several days. I’m just tired.

I decided to let my body have all the rest it needs to rebuild my strength. We need to listen to our bodies and take care of them. It is easy to push ourselves when things are going well.

1 Samuel 14:36, “Saul said, Let’s attack the Philistines again while it’s still dark. We can fight them all night…”

Saul had just made his army fight all day without food. Then he planned on having them fight all night without sleep.

When God didn’t answer him he ended up going home, (v. 46). If we don’t take care of our bodies, we won’t win any battles.

“Everlasting God” by Lincoln Brewster

This post brought to you by David Fishel, who let me sleep in.

August 24, 2013

This Labor Day is the anniversary of the first time I became housebound, 9 years ago. Two years later it became permanent.

In spite of a round of Prednisone, I am sick again. Last year I was sick 6 weeks in September and October. This is not my favorite time of year!

I can relate to many things Jeremiah wrote about in Lamentations 3. Yet, God has never left me without hope.

Lamentations 3:21-26, “But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation. It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, and to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word]. It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.”

“His very weakness gives him hope of God interposing His strength for him…To have God for our portion is the one only foundation of hope…quietly wait – to be patiently quiet under afflictions, resting in the will for God.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

August 11, 2013

I have always required a lot of sleep, but this weekend has been ridiculous! I slept 12-1/2 hours on Friday and 10 hours last night. I blame the Benadryl!

I am so glad God accepts me exactly the way I am. I read that in two different books today.

“Come to Me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you, because weakness stirs up My compassion – My yearning to help.” Jesus is Calling, by Sarah Young

When God saw the naked woman in the field, he covered her, married her and provided for her.

Ezekiel 16:8, “Now I passed by you again and looked upon you; behold, you were maturing and at the time for love, and I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord, and you became Mine.”

“Spread my skirt over you” – means to become engaged and “troth” –  means faithfulness.