“Everyone who saw me or heard of me had good things to say about what I had done. When the poor cried out, I helped them; I gave help to orphans who had nowhere to turn. People who were in deepest misery praised me, and I helped widows find security.” Job 29:11-13 GNT
In my study Bible, Job 29:1-25 is titled, “Job’s Summary of Defense.” In verse 18 he says, “I expected to live a long life and die surrounded by my family, seeing generations of blessings flow out of my faithfulness…” Okay, I paraphrased a little. Seriously, though, Job had absolutely no reason not to believe that, actually. He is described as the most righteous man on earth. Yet here we find him evaluating his life and all the good he’s done in the face of insurmountable tragedy, sickness and grief.
This is a trap that I am constantly praying that I don’t fall into myself. The “because I’ve done all of this good, you (God) should bless me all the days of my life…” trap. It’s a lie. God doesn’t owe me anything, just like He didn’t owe Job anything. Believing otherwise is simply pride. When we have that attitude, we’re forgetting that God has chosen to use us in this way and in the same way He’s chosen us, He can also raise up rocks to take our place. We have to remain in a place of humility. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty and the reality of an enemy who will use any opportunity to derail us and take us out.
It’s hard, especially in this journey, not to sound like Job sometimes. The truth is, it really is a good thing to care for the orphan and at-risk child. It really is a good thing to open our hearts and homes to share life with others. And, on some level, we can all sometimes feel like God owes us something in return. Even if He doesn’t pour out riches on us, the least He could do is keep us comfortable and trouble free where we are, right? Wrong. We can never afford to get comfortable and prideful in the expectation that tomorrow is going to look better than today. Our only comfort is the knowledge that our Comforter will be with us to lead, guide and grant us wisdom along the way—regardless of our circumstance.
From this place in my life, this chapter in Job is a great reminder to me to be grateful for all that God has done in my life and through my life, but to remember that tomorrow could bring anything. Having a book, starting a nonprofit, having all of my children at peace and having a great marriage is nice, but it’s nothing compared to having a personal, deep and trusting relationship with my Heavenly Father. It’s also nothing compared to enjoying everyday moments with those I love.
Tomorrow isn’t a promise. Today is a gift. Enjoy each moment with humility and gratitude.
Questions for reflection…
1) It’s easy to get caught up in the “God owes me blessings” trap. In what ways do you find yourself caught in this trap in your own life?
2) What are two things you can begin to do today to renew your perspective?