March 31, 2021
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
To pick up where we left off on Monday, Job ends his lament over his condition with these profound words. When everything else has been stripped away, his wealth, his family, his friends, and even his own skin, what Job knows without a shadow of doubt is that the Redeemer lives. This is very different from what you and I usually want to be sure of. I want to be sure of my own life. I want to be sure of my own security. I want to know what God plans to do next and (most importantly) how it’s going to impact my life. My prayers usually follow this same line of thought.
When I reflect on these thoughts, I’ve started to ask myself a clarifying question. What story am I trying to write? Am I trying to write my own story, or am I trying to find my place in God’s story? It’s this second perspective that allows Job, in the midst of his suffering, to raise his sights and his hopes towards God as a redeemer. His heart yearns – not for wealth, not for rescue (notice he plans to see God after his skin has been destroyed), not for a clear plan. He yearns to see his Redeemer standing on the earth. He longs to see God’s plan fulfilled, and recognizes that his role, however tragic or glamorous, is a small part in the grand design.
This is what allows Job to navigate incalculable loss and suffering without losing hope. In his mind, the story was never about his success, his wealth, his standing, his glory. The story he wants to be a part of is the story that ends with God standing victorious. If that requires pain or loss or grief, so be it.
How about you? On my better days, I might come close to holding this perspective. I do sometimes pray for God to show me where I fit into His story instead of trying to fit him into mine. But if you’re like me, we need to be often reminded of the mindset that seemed so central to Job’s way of being. This morning, try praying for God to show you your place in His story. Invite Him to show you where you are merely asking Him to be a part of yours.