Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Gift of Correction

"If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God,
I'd throw myself on the mercy of God.
After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts;
there's no end to his surprises.
He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth,
sends water to irrigate the fields.
He raises up the down-and-out,
gives firm footing to those sinking in grief.
He aborts the schemes of conniving crooks,
so that none of their plots come to term.
He catches the know-it-alls in their conspiracies—
all that intricate intrigue swept out with the trash!
Suddenly they're disoriented, plunged into darkness;
they can't see to put one foot in front of the other.
But the downtrodden are saved by God,
saved from the murderous plots, saved from the iron fist.
And so the poor continue to hope,
while injustice is bound and gagged." Job 5:8-11 (The Message)

When Job was going through all of his trials, three of his friends came from afar to comfort him. One of these friends was Eliphaz, the Temanite. He is the one that was counseling Job with the above passage.

When the three friends first arrived to where Job was, they couldn't believe their eyes. They barely recognized their friend. Job had changed dramatically since they had last seen him. For this was after Job had experienced his second test. In the first, he had lost all of his camels, servants and children. The second test was terrible sores that were open and oozing--they covered him from his head to the soles of his feet. Job had to take a broken piece of pottery and use it like a knife to scrape off the sores. And this is how his friends found him.

These three friends were torn apart with sadness. It says that they tore their clothing, weeping and wailing. And then just sat in the dirt, next to him, not saying anything.

At times, when we are with someone that is hurting, or sad, or searching, the best gift to give them is your presence and silence. Sometimes we talk too much. We try to help ease by giving advice or saying comforting words--because we care and even though the intent is honorable, the timing could be wrong.

When Eliphar does start speaking, it's coming from his heart because he loves his friend Job--while the advice is sound--for the timing, it is incorrect. Eliphar is thinking that his friend Job has been bad and has made God angry so what he is going through is "payback". God doesn't do "payback". God will--if the need arises--correct us if we have strayed, but it is never "payback."

The above passage celebrates the blessedness of a man that is being corrected by his God. Because in the end, the healing of the correction is worth the temporary pain of the lesson learned.

Because, if you truly read the above passage--line by line--and meditate on the message, what powerful comfort it will bring.

It brings to mind that our God is an awesome God, full of compassion and strength. He doesn't do anything out of spite or ugliness--but always with our best interest in mind.

Praise Him today for being the Father that cares enough to correct when we need correction, and compassionate enough to hurt with us as we are going through it and rejoices with us when we are on the other side! You are truly loved!

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