Friday, May 26, 2017

The High Maintenance Missionary and The Drooping Hedge

The conversation between God and Satan that led to Job's trial always surprises me. (Leanna paraphrase coming up)

"What have you been up to, you old devil?" God asked. 

"Roaming around the earth, seeking whomever I can devour," admitted Satan.

"Did you notice my servant, Job? He's the best."

"Yeah, I noticed him. You have a hedge of protection around him and I can't get to him. Drop that hedge a little, and I'll show you how good he is. He'll curse you to your face."

God knew Job better than Job knew himself. He dropped the hedge a little. Satan attacked. Job agonized, grieved, and worshiped. "Though He slay me, still I will hope in Him," he avowed. 

As he walked through the trial, Job learned more about God and more about Himself than he'd ever known before. He had conversations with the Most High God that were nothing short of profoundly amazing. Those trials changed his life.

Job's ordeal was horrible. He was a good believer at the start, but he was a much better disciple at the end of it. God was glorified in a way that still stuns us and helps us through our own trials, thousands of years later. 

I don't know if you've ever had an experience with a dropped hedge and a horrible trial, but I have. More than once. I didn't think of it as a "dropped hedge" at the time, but this morning, I can see those hard trials in a new way. 

One difficult situation after another, one loss after another came until I was reeling. I remember being face down on the floor, saying, "Though you slay me, still I will praise you..." I offered a sacrifice of praise and something changed - in me and in my situation. 

Things began to improve. It was slow at first, but, gradually, the trial abated and I emerged, a little wobbly but a different woman from the one who encountered that first shattering trial. 

As I look back over these last few months, I have to wonder if my hedge has been allowed to droop a little. There's been one difficult situation after another... I've seen the enemy jab and shoot fiery darts. It's been hard. It's been beautiful.

I learned something important in my first Job Journey. We have a shield of faith that can stop the fiery darts. It only works, though, if we hold it up. We have a sword of the Spirit that can do serious harm to the enemy's assault, but only if we pick it up and wield it. 

If you're not in a Job Journey now, you've either been through one already or yours is still to come. 

Take heart. A drooping hedge means one very encouraging thing. God knows you can make it through. He's already planning the blessings for the other side.

"Though He slay me, I will hope in Him..." Job 13:15 nasb
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