Thursday, September 1, 2011


“He doesn’t let me catch my breath but soaks me with bitter experiences.” (Job 9:18)

            Some folks very much identify with the feeling Job expressed:  soaked with bitter experiences.  Soaking in something bitter is one way to describe the process that produces pickles.  Folks who are going through a bitter experience in fact may sometimes say, “I’m in a real pickle!”
            That was Job’s world for a time.  He felt pickled.  From his view, his circumstances had come from God.  The story indicates no awareness that Satan was involved.  In fact, it does not appear that he knew that there is a Satan.  Like many of his day, he thought that one’s life circumstances emanated from the Almighty.  He was at least partly correct in the sense that God allowed him to go through these experiences.
            Job’s thinking became clouded by his bitterness and by the pain of his sores.  Physical pain and emotional pain prevented him from recognizing any purposes God had in what he was going through.  Pain does have a way of demanding our focus.  But this does not mean that God was not carrying out His purposes.  In fact, He was.
            If God is allowing us to go through bitter experiences, He has a purpose.  And He will fulfill that purpose, just as He did with Job.  We just need to be patient and faithful through it and endure.  One day it will all be clear, just as it was with Job.

Lord, We have to admit that sometimes we just do not understand why You allow Your people to walk through bitter experiences, but we trust that You do have a purpose.  And we trust You in that purpose.  Amen.

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