Happy First Monday of the New Year!
If you are like me, you have started a new bible study and have vowed to finally read the entire bible in a year. Seems a little typical and boring, right? Well, not with God by your side! The bible study God lead me to is one that I did about five years ago, before marriage, before babies, and before moving out into the sticks. He shed some light on me then, and He wants to do it again! Last year, and the years before, were by far a few of my most unperfected years. Many things happened, were said, and some of my foundations were shaken out of place, and then miraculously shaken back into place. However, it has taken time. God has had me under His wing, allowed me to choose my paths, and has even allowed me to stray, but His love is greater than Satan’s power. His love has shaped and molded and painted me the very color and form I am today. Without all of the life lessons, I would not have the wisdom I harbor, but you do not have to stray and make mistakes to get that wisdom. All you need is to listen to God. Through learning all of this the hard way, I can tell you that there is an easier way to learn about God’s wisdom.
So, go to your bible and open it. You can start with Proverbs, if you want to read about wisdom flat out, but, doing that, it might seem like a list of rules. God knows how to make anyone’s journey reading the bible fun. He knows you inside and outside and upside down. He knows you better than you know yourself. Just take God seriously, push Satan out of the way, because Satan is really, really good about making the bible feeling boring and chore to read, but if you listen to God, and start the reading plan that God has been whispering for you to read, it will be very fun, interesting, enlightening, and right on cue with whatever you are going through that day, or that week, or that month, or that year. For example, today my bible reading plan said read Job chapters 1 – 5, and right before that I was doing my daily bible study, and I think it literally took me almost a complete half hour to read five pages, and that was all that the bible study was. It felt like Satan had decided to play games with me, when my child would act up, and when I would attempt to calm the situation, I am pretty certain that Satan was making more distractions to escalate the situation, each time, and then making me feel like a failure as a parent, but God does not see me as failure. It’s parallel to Job.
See, my child and I have a cold. We caught it pretty much on New Year’s Day, therefore, we are suffering from a cold. Last night, it seemed as though every single time, I was comfortable and falling asleep, my son would cry, want out of his crib, or the lovely dogs would start barking at. . . nothing. With a cold, it is difficult enough to sleep, and especially when you think you took medicine that might have had caffeine in it, nonetheless, I was able to get in a couple of hours. This morning, when Jason woke up, I think he screamed and cried and screamed and cried and screamed and cried, for about an hour, no matter what I gave him, or did for him, the only thing that cheered him up, was a very long, warm bath with his two new rubber duckies, Epson salt and apple cider vinegar poured in to detox him from some of his illness. Like Job, I have felt like I have been under tests, to take care of Jason, since last night. I think that I failed some, and I aced some. Let’s look at Job Chapter one through five.
So, Job was blameless and upright. You know, Job is a good book to study if you feeling like you are suffering unfairly. God has a reason for everything that He allows in your life. For me, I have been praying to be a better mother for my son. Sometimes, God just want to test your progress. Alright, Job. During the trials of Job’s tests, Job praised God and did not sin. It was not until his three friends showed up, and openly wept for Job and,
“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. . . After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” Job 2: 13 & 3: 1.
After Job’s rant, one of his friends, Eliphaz, calls him a fool for calling to God and cursing his own birth. God wanted to remind Job, and Satan, that a mortal cannot be more righteous than God. This is pride. Thinking that, “you got this” and you don’t, not really, because, “God’s got this,” and God is reminding you to follow him, and if you do mess up in the eyes of your friends, He is reminding them that you are not God, nor are you a god, nor are you even wise. God has his own way to teach a person wisdom. The meaning of a fool is a person who is not wise. Job was a fool. Even though Job was blameless and upright, him cursing his own birth, just proved that he was not nearly as wise as his life made him out to be. His life was pretty perfect and he praised and feared the Lord, but he was not wise enough to understand that God was testing him, not punishing him. God also wanted to prove to Satan, that no one is righteous, not one, except for God.
Each person’s suffering produces a different lesson of wisdom, customized to their specific need. Your lesson may not be the same as Job’s and mine is not the same as yours, but there is a wisdom that God wants you to know, learn, and practice. Maybe mine had to do with a gentle spirit, Job was a fool, what is God trying to show you through your suffering?
Thank you for inspiring me to do these bible studies each day. I am on track with each of them. Thank you for providing me with two new lessons each day, and for providing a platform to share some of what you teach me. Dear Lord, I pray that anyone seeking your wisdom will open their ears, hearts, minds, and souls to you, start the bible study or reading plan that you have thoughtfully and lovingly picked out for them, and may they stick to it every day, and just be engulfed in your word and wisdom, so they can grow and mature in you.
In Jesus Name,
By Rick Warren / Zondervan
A fresh look at The Purpose-Driven Life! In this expanded edition, Rick Warren uncovers the spiritual principles behind his award-winning bestseller, offering guidelines that will focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give your life meaning—and prepare you for eternity. Includes two new chapters and access to video introductions, an audio Bible study, and an online community. 368 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
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