Hi friends, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends. I am no martyr. I do not pretend to be Job sitting in this wheelchair, but there are days when I read verses in the book of Job and I think, That’s me talking! Like in the 17th chapter where Job had just taken about all he could endure. As far as he can see life felt like it was over. And he says, “My spirit is broken… My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.”
I just bet you have felt like that, I know I have. And from these words in Job, it would be easy to conclude that even Job himself had surrendered to complete despair. But in real-life biblical drama, a wholly unexpected ray of hope knifed across the landscape because several times in the midst of Job’s complaining, the tone and the content of his speech starts to change. It’s almost as though he looks up through a tear in the cloud to see a fragment of blue sky and he says, “Though God slay me, yet will I hope in him… Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance.”
Job is in as much saying, “God, even though I may not understand why you have done what you have done, or why you have allowed these things to happen to me, you are worthy of my trust and my hope, and however this turns out, I know somehow it’s going to be for my salvation.”
I tell you, that is wisdom and that kind of wisdom doesn’t come easy, it’s insight but it’s hard fought for, hard won. Yes I identify with Job and his deepest anguish. There are times in this wheelchair I think Oh, my goodness I can not do this anymore. But I also know there are times when that same ray of hope that cuts across the landscape of my life. And although you and I may not understand God's purposes, I know that even my darkest days in this chair, I know it’s all going to turn out for my deliverance, for my betterment, for my salvation.
They say that if you are standing at the bottom of a deep well, you can look up in the middle of the day and see stars. I’ve never tried that experiment (I’ll take others word for it), but it’s clear to me that in the midst of the more horrendous experiences you can imagine, Job was able to look up toward and he could see things he had never seen before. Actually, I think he saw someone he had never seen before because he says, “… I have a witness in heaven, my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend…”
Who would that be? Who was a witness in heaven, an intercessor and friend? Who fits a description like that? Well, just a few pages later, Job lifts his anguished face to heaven one more time and cries out: I know that my Redeemer lives. A Redeemer? That’s Jesus, especially a living redeemer, right? We have someone in heaven who’s up there as our friend, our intercessor and our advocate, even pleading our case before the father. Listen, you might be at the bottom of a dark well today… you can look up and you just might see stars no matter how heart wrenching your circumstances are. You can trust your Savior. He is your living Redeemer. Just ask Job. Friend, drop me a line on Joni’s Corner at joniandfriends.org or you can always contact us at PO Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376.
Previously aired as program #6768 on 4/9/08
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