Hope Discovery of the Day:
We cannot get to the mountaintop without the climb.
Scripture of the Day:
1 “Then Job answered the LORD: 2 I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted; 3 you asked, ‘Who is this who darkens counsel without knowledge?’ But I have declared without understanding things too wonderful for me to know. 4 You said, ‘Pay attention, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself, and I repent in dust and ashes! 7 After the LORD had spoken these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede for you, and I will respect him, so that I do not deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So they went, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and did just as the LORD had told them; and the LORD had respect for Job.”
Sitting behind the steering wheel of the dually truck, I stared at the wobbly stick shift and mused at how I got into this position. This chick was not used to driving a stick shift. At all. And certainly not a dually truck. Oh my. Let’s just say it was not a smooth ride. No siree. But then life is not a smooth ride, now, is it?
Many similar situations I have found myself in and had there been a camera rollin’, it would have made good content for an I Love Lucy episode, for sure. We can always look back and laugh at such moments, but in the moment, probably not so much.
I was kind of a tomboy growing up, but not particularly tough. I was too careful for that. Pain was something I would rather avoid, as well as anything that I thought was too difficult. People called me “goody two-shoes”, too. I fled more attempts of people wanting to beat me up than I care to admit and did not mind that they called me “chicken”. Sorry to burst your bubble. Not a brave bone in my body until I met Jesus.
Thing is, we often believe that knowing God equates to a perfect life. But when the sands of life come to refine us like pearls before our God, we are not so appreciative. It is what we do with the irritants of life that determine the beauty formed within our souls.
Job’s suffering was great. He surely was not so pretty on the outside while he was afflicted physically. It would be hard to see what such challenges were producing on the inside. A little complaining was understandable. In the end, however, he realized that through all of his troubles, He earned the highest reward – He saw God through His suffering. God, Who is not a respecter of man, had respect for Job. Well done, good and faithful servant. This made everything pale in comparison and put his pain into perspective.
One of the greatest compliments my husband ever gave me was when he saw me clinging to God and persevering in a time of great suffering. “You’ve got true grit”, he said to me. This, coming from the man who watched me struggle with the dually, with health challenges and emotional turmoil. He said I had true grit. My man is a tough dude. This was a great compliment, but what it meant to me was that I had chosen to trust God in the face of great odds.
Possessing true grit is persevering when the going gets tough – and it will. Tenaciously holding onto God’s promises develops patience and changes us in the fires of life to be more like God. Avoiding life’s challenges will not help us to grow, it will only keep us confined in our weakness. God loves us too much for that. God is trustworthy when life hurts. Instead of doubting His character, we can rely on it and come out on the other side transformed.
We cannot get to the mountaintop without the climb. Although the climb seems purposeless, it develops the grit and the character needed to reach our goal. True Grit isn’t given. It’s earned. As hard as many times of testing have been, there is no regret for the strength formed in the midst. But the greatest prize of the grit in our character is that we interacted with God and were changed in His presence.
Lord, thank You for changing us and using everything in our lives to draw us nearer to you. Help us to trust you in the valleys and the mountains of life.