"Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
I am a nanny for a family here in town. I watch their two youngest, ages 5 and 2 during the day. The youngest, Chase is just getting the hang of talking. The jumbled up version of words he says crack me up constantly. But I gotta say, my favorite are the times he's sitting in my lap and he grabs my chin and says, "Manna....hi." And the oldest, Delaney...well she's pretty much always talking. She loves to tell me every detail of everything that has ever happened. But my favorite days are the days she sings. Its rarely on key and most of the words are made up, but it is so sweet when I'll hear somewhere playing, singing a quiet little song to herself. And today was no exception. We were all sitting on the porch, reading books and singing songs. Delaney looks at me and says, "Let's sing a song...and let's make up the words." And this is what she sings:
“ When things are good, people say “Whoo hoo!”.When things are good, people say “Praise you Jesus!”.When things are bad, people pack up. When things are bad, people pack up and say "Whoo hoo!"
I asked her to sing it again and she obliged. I sat for a second and thought about what she said. When things are good we say "Praise you Jesus"...when things are bad, we pack up.
Hmm...Consider Job. His life sucked. A lot. Often. He was a good guy. He loved the Lord. And in one day he lost his livestock, most of his servants and his children. Then on another he was covered in boils. He was told by his own wife to curse God and die.He was chastised by his friends. Satan didn’t believe he would still love God if God let bad things happen to him. He believed Job was only a good servant because God was protecting him. So God allowed Job to be tested, not to mock Job, but because He knew Job would be faithful. Job got mad. He got sad. He went through the most intense emotional struggle anyone could face. But in the end, God got the glory.Job repented, God has his friends repent, had Job pray for them and then blessed him with more than he lost. Its says,
" The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch.Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years."
Kind of makes you think twice about whining over a bad hair day, huh? God knew that no matter what he said, Job loved Him and he would remain His servant. Reality is this: sometimes life sucks. Sometimes, we're responsible for the suckage (i.e. speeding tickets, fights with friends, etc.) Sometimes we're not. Sometimes there seems to be no cause for it at all and completely unjust.( i.e losing a loved one, illness, etc.) It can be so easy to want to run...to give up...to call it quits. But listen to James 5:10-11:
"My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful."
or Psalm 42:5
"Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him f or the help of His countenance."
or Philippians 4:11-12
"....for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
The reality is that there is sin in the world. Where there is sin there is death. Bad things happen because evil is still lurking. Sometimes people die. We all will eventually.Sometimes bad guys win.God allows us to walk in times of trial so that we know we need him. If life was always good and candy-coated we would never have need of him. This is what the Bible says about trials:
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-3
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love." 1 Peter 1: 6-8
The testing of our faith produces patience. When patience has its way we’ll be complete and lacking nothing. Our faith is tested to prove its genuine. let me put it another way. Would you want to allow your child to play with a toy that had not gone through safety testing? Its tested to prove its okay....its working correctly....all its parts are in the right place and the right order....and its okay for someone to use. He need to know we are working correctly. He needs to know we are equipped with all we need to survive. That we have everything we need to be used effectively in the kingdom of God. That we are safe for others to come to for counsel or for prayer because our hearts in the right place. He doesn’t want us to lack anything we need because He loves us. He’s a good father.
So before we throw in the towel because its all just too much to take, hold on. Ask the Holy Spirit to comfort you. Ask God for wisdom in accepting this trial. Ask Him to show you the light at the end of the tunnel. Cling to hope with all you have. It won’t last for ever. Its just a moment in your life. And God is right there with you, helping you get though it. “ Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”( Psalm 30) Its gonna be over soon.And when it is, you’ll shine like gold.
And if you don't believe me, ask Delaney.Apparently she knows everything.