What to Do When the Wheels Fall Off

Evil is present everywhere in our world.  We can’t escape it.  We can only try and deal with the aftermath.  This fact has long seemed deeply at odds with the idea of a good and loving God.  The problem of evil is one of the thorniest challenges that has long seemed a roadblock to the Christian faith.  In this new series, Grace in Hard Times, with the help of the book of Job, we are going to examine through the context of this epic story one powerful answer to the problem.  In this first part of the conversation, we start with a bit of perspective.

 

What to Do When the Wheels Fall Off

A few years ago the news came out that Elizabeth Elliot had passed away at age 88.  Elliot had been serving the Lord in various capacities for nearly her entire life.  What she is perhaps best known for, though, is having been married for a short time to Jim Elliot.  Jim was every bit as dedicated a servant of the Lord as Elizabeth was, but his story did not end in the same way hers did.  In 1955, Jim and four other missionaries, including Nate Saint, were attempting to make contact with the Huaorani tribe deep in the jungles of Ecuador.  After making several initial peace offerings by lowering gifts in a bucket from their plane, the pair finally decided it was time to make personal contact with the tribe.  On the morning of January 3, 1956, they landed and met with some of the tribe members for the first time.  They were received with excitement and it was looking like things were going to go smoothly.  This road for the advance of the Gospel was appearing most promising.  But just five days later everything fell apart.  When the tribe warriors came out of the woods that morning to the Amazonian beach the missionaries were using as a landing strip and campsite, they did not come for peace.  They came to shut down this outsider intrusion into their private lives.  Nate, Jim, and the three other men with them were murdered in cold blood, speared to death by the Huaorani warriors.  They each left behind a wife and a total of 10 kids among them.  These five men had committed their lives to serving Jesus and advancing the Gospel regardless of the costs.  They were selflessly committed to this goal and yet this was their end. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Job 29:1-4

“And Job again took up his discourse, and said: ‘Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness, as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent…'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Job’s ordeal had been intense at this point.  He had lost everything including his health.  That’s not really specific enough.  He had faced total financial ruin.  All of his children had died in a tragic accident (an accident we, the readers, know was caused by Satan).  His wife had functionally abandoned him out of her own grief.  And he was experiencing horrendous physical suffering as well.  To make matters even worse, three of his best friends had spent days with him arguing with greater and greater intensity and insistence that he was ultimately to blame for all of his troubles because of some sin that was going unconfessed in his life.  The old adage, “when it rains it pours,” does not even begin to cover it here. Read the rest…