A Week of Curveballs

This week has not been a typical week. It has been a week of sadness and reflection. Four people in our community or related to people in our community have died. One a suicide and two were family members of our friends and one a brother of our insurance agent. All deaths were unexpected in the sense of anyone having extended illnesses.

Our church family is always ready at a moments notice to cook and serve meals for families who have lost loved ones. This is part of the reason why I have been away from blogging for a couple of days.

These events reminded me of the briefness of life and the importance of being prepared spiritually.

Ps 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I will close this week with an article I’ve had for several years, written by Charles Swindoll. The words he wrote are worthy of reflection.

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

Charles R. Swindoll
Read Job 1:1-12.

Without Job’s knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan’s attention to Job’s exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn’t serve You the way You’ve prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job

And so, in today’s terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man’s possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.

This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation-not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.

In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job’s mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.

You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father’s plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father’s plan includes. It’s best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it’s on the horizon. We can be certain of this; our God knows what is best.

2 comments for “A Week of Curveballs

  1. September 21, 2009 at 7:29 am

    This is so so true. Haven’t read much of Swindoll but have read a LOT of Yancey. This about Job and the observations about what a day may bring sure does ring true. It reminds me of an e-mail that comes around every now and then entitled “When the Wind Blows.” It’s precious to me for a lot of reasons. Too long to include here, but I’ll e-mail it to you. Sorry for all the losses. And kudos to your church.

  2. September 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    That’s one thing I miss about “church” … that community of compassion. Anything by Swindoll is worth reading. Or Yancey. Or John Ortberg.

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