Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Devotion 8.16.17

My dad grew up in southern Minnesota and lost his mom at the age of eight (or thereabouts).  His father (my grandfather) fell into what was probably depression, so it came to the grandparents to help raise my dad and his siblings.  Dad spent much time on a farm in southern Minnesota, working an old plough horse, gathering eggs, and milking cows.  My dad was a tall man for the family, coming in at 6'2" and had large hands and wrists which for me were a source of strength.  Those hands built and those hands and wrists could turn things that the average man's hands could not.  I always attributed that to his time on the farm.

There were few times, but I remember them well, where those hands could strike fear into my childish mouth and attitude.  I could say something with that tone and that hand would go back.  My dad said nothing, but that hand going back spoke volumes.  I knew the severe pain (to me at a young age) that hand could inflict.  When it went back (which as I said was rare), I knew the line that I had crossed was well behind me, and there was no turning back.

So, I read Job 38:3 with interest.  Older interpretations say, "Gird up your loins and stand like a man..." as God spoke to Job.  Job had sat around in a pitiful state for a period of time, moaning and groaning to God with the "why me?" attitude (and after what Job endured, we all would have to be honest).  "Gird up your loins" we are told means "prepare for war" as the Israelites would bind the cloth around their loins to go into battle.  In an older NIV bible,  God says, "Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you will answer me." 

Goodness.  God has drawn back that hand as Job stands before Him finally getting what he's wanted, a chance to ask God why all this happened to him.  God basically told Job, "I'm God, you're not.  Don't talk to me like that."

Yet we know we can go to God and bring all our concerns, sufferings, and joys to Him.  In fact, God uses our sufferings, as Paul noted, to bring us to Him, even when perhaps we are angry with God Himself.  "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12)

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is an excellent reminder of the power of taking all we want and need to Christ in prayer:

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer


Hope Men's Ministry

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