Digging in Deeper: Job 42:1-6

“Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?’ Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wondrous for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform me.’ I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes when we are making breakfast in the morning we like to make scrambled eggs. And sometimes when we get the eggs out to crack, our 5-year-old happens to be in the kitchen. Do you know what he unfailingly requests in these moments? Can I crack the eggs? Now, don’t get me wrong: It’s cute that he wants to help. I definitely don’t want to discourage him from it. That’ll blow up in my face later. But by the time I’ve cleaned up gooey egg mess from the counter and the floor and spent five minutes chasing minute pieces of egg shell around the bowl before I scramble everything up to put them in the pan, there’s a small part of me thinking, “Thanks for nothing.” As I read the tail end of the book of Job here, I feel a bit like he’s got to be thinking the same thing about God.

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Morning Musing: Joel 1:13-14

“Dress in sackcloth and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar. Come and spend the night in sackcloth, you ministers of my God, because grain and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God. Announce a sacred fast; proclaim an assembly! Gather the elders and all the residents of the land at the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you say to someone who has just experienced a tragedy? That’s a bit of a tough question to answer. Trying to talk to someone who has just experienced something really hard can be painfully awkward. Think about how you feel when you get to the front of a funeral visitation line. There might be more uncomfortable moments in life than that, but it’s definitely on the top ten list. Let me change the question just a bit on you: What do you say to someone who has just experienced a tragedy, but you’re pretty sure it was their own fault?

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The Problem with Work

After a couple of weeks off, this week brings us to part four of our series, Finding Meaning. One of the places we turn to for meaning in our lives is often our work. And that makes a lot of sense at first blush. After all, by the nature of the beast, we invest a lot of our lives there. We might as well try to get as much out of it as we can. But as with pleasure and wisdom, seeking meaning in our work is a trap and when it springs, it will leave us empty and searching. Keep reading to find out how we can get the most out of the work we do.

The Problem with Work

Have you ever done something that you knew, even while doing it, was a waste of your time?  I worked at OfficeMax in the print department while I was in seminary.  I really enjoyed the job and had a great boss.  My favorite part was working in production.  That kind of detailed and precise work was right up my alley and a nice break from school work.  We produced thousands of different documents while I was there from large format posters to bound workbooks to single copies.  If you wanted a document of any kind created, we could probably do it for you. 

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What If God Answered?

In this third part of our series, Grace in Hard Times, we finally get a look at what God had to say to Job and his friends after all their questions and assumptions about who He is and how He works.  The result feels hard at first until you look a bit closer.  What we learn is that God’s job in running the whole universe is a lot bigger than we think and that if we’ll let Him do it, He’ll do it well.  Keep reading to see how this unfolds.  Up next: A look at how we can keep the rhythm of our lives adjusted to the right beat.

 

What If God Answered?

Do you remember the worst lecture you ever got from your parents?  While I confess that I fall to it way more often than I should with my boys, my folks either weren’t much for lecturing or else I’ve forgotten all of them (which really isn’t very comforting news for all the wisdom parents depart to their children through the vehicle of a lecture…).  Still, though, there are times when as parents we need to impart a great deal of important information to our children in a rapid-fire fashion.  And, coincidentally or not, these times often happen in conjunction with something they’ve done that wasn’t perhaps totally on the up-and-up and when we are in a state of mild to extreme anger.  Now, if that happens to come across as a lecture, is that our fault?  Well…probably…but that much is not where I want to go this morning. I’ll come back to this idea in a second. Read the rest…

How Not to Comfort the Hurting

In part two of our series, Grace in Hard Times, we take a look at the conversation among Job and his friends as they wrestle with the awful tragedies that have befallen him.  Their attempts at comforting gradually transform into attempts at condemning him when he won’t play ball with their notions of how the world works.  Along the way, we learn an important lesson on how to approach getting our minds around the hard times we face.  Keep reading to find out what it is.

 

How Not to Comfort the Hurting

Have you ever been sure you were right…until you learned you weren’t?  Tell me if you’ve been here before.  One day we were getting ready to go to the pool and I had asked Noah to go to the garage to get something for us to take.  We weren’t planning on making it a long trip and so to the boys’ disappointment we pretty severely limited the number of toys they were going to be able to take. Read the rest…