As I have been reading through the book of Job, I continue to be challenged in my acceptance of God's ways to refine me.
Today I read through chapters 12 and 13. Thus far, I have been exasperated by Job's "friends". They knew Job, but not his heart. So this begs my questioning: "What kind of a friend am I when those I love enter the pit? Am I compassionate and are my words timely?" His friends' words were truth apart from Job's circumstances. They were at the best untimely; at the worst prideful and full of "head knowledge" of God.
Job answers in between a couple of monologues:
"Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face."
Essentially, Job's whole heart trusts in his maker, yet he knows God is the only one who truly knows his heart. He is willing to make a defense to the Lord. And I believe the Lord was pleased with this defense. For the heart motive is the most important consideration.
In the end, Job was willing to die, if this was his Maker's will. He was willing to give up everything.
"Suppose you are a gardener employed by another. It is not your garden, but you are called upon to tend it. You come one morning into the garden, and you find that the best rose has been taken away. You are angry. You go to your fellow servants and charge them with having taken the rose. They declare that they had nothing to do with it, and one says, “I saw the master walking here this morning; I think he took it.” Is the gardener angry then? No, at once he says, “I am happy that my rose should have been so fair as to attract the attention of the master. It is his own. He has taken it, let him do what seems good.”
It is even so with your friends. They wither not by chance. The grave is not filled by accident. Men die according to God’s will. Your child is gone, but the Master took it. Your husband is gone, your wife is buried—the Master took them. Thank him that he let you have the pleasure of caring for them and tending them while they were here. And thank him that as he gave, he himself has taken away."
- Charles Spurgeon