This post should probably be read more as a journal entry than anything else. It doesn't fit so much with the order of the books of the Bible, as it does with the timeline of Scripture. The book of Job has been dated as one of the earliest books of the Bible. So I can justify writing from Job.
I'm going to be candid with you. My life is pretty much an open book anyway, so why not. These last several months have been the lowest months of my last two years. After some flaws in my character became apparent to everyone I was close to immediately after Thanksgiving of 2010, I realized that I had been living a lie. I claimed salvation, but my life was bearing no fruit. I was running in circles, chasing my plan for my life, while ignoring the voice of God speaking into me through various sources. So when I was hit with the proverbial smack upside the head, I knew things needed to change. In fall of 2011, I was plunged into the greatest environment I'd ever been in before. I started going to a school where spiritual growth was the chief focus, and everything else followed. Well, long story short, God had a plan. I didn't/don't understand it, because it involved me needing to stay in an environment that is very damaging to spiritual growth. After dealing with an abusive and deceptive employer for the last nine months, I had a conversation with my friend and mentor, Stephen, that made me realize that I was looking at it all wrong. For the past nine months, I've been coping. I've been merely getting by, counting the days, and punching my time clock. Well, here's my next rule about godly men/Christian manhood.
Godly Christian men don't cope. They rise above and overcome.
I have been living with anger at my employer and even hatred. Christ said that "Whoever hates his brother is guilty of murder." So great. On top of being a hypocrite, a complainer, and everything else, I'm basically a murderer. Awesome piece of work right here. But that's the thing. I don't have to live with that. I can change my attitude. I can change how I respond to the difficulty. I don't have to take everything on blind faith. Job questioned God and asked why He was doing things, when Job didn't feel that he deserved any of it, but then God sat him down and basically told him that he knew nothing. God asked Job where he was when the Lord himself laid the foundations of the earth... Job wasn't even a twinkle or a drop of water in the bucket of eternity, yet God chose to bless him with more than was ever taken from him. For weeks, Job sat in the ashes of his former life, scraping pus out of boils all over his body with a piece of broken pottery coping with the shattered remains of his world. He rubbed sore spots raw, all the while, cursing the day that he was born. Would I have done the same? More than likely, but Job realized his true purpose and overcame the temptations and the trials that God had specifically allowed the devil to put in Job's life, when he stood before the throne of God and proclaimed that God was God alone and could never be understood or surpassed. So after 6 months of wondering, "Why am I here?" I finally have the answer that has been staring me in the face the whole time.
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
It is not my place to question God, nor is it my place to slog through this life depressed and dejected over the lot that has been dealt me. Rather, my place is to overcome these challenges, grow from them, and take the place that has been granted me at the feet of my Father, forever singing praise to His name.