by Bobby Thejus
1) Sometimes really bad things happen to really good people
Fault finding friends:
Job’s friends found fault or attempted to find fault with his life because he was suffering. And like the karmic principle they believed that, good deeds reap good results while bad deeds reap bad results. And Job’s suffering was really bad, so the logical conclusion, according to their philosophy, is that Job must have done something really bad.But – If happiness is regarded as a reward for a good life, then we will stop making good people happy and take on the stupid task of making happy people good.Now that is exactly what Job’s friends thought. They wrongly assumed that happiness is a result of a good life. But then in Matthew Ch 5:3-12 Jesus shocks his listeners, branding those whom we would on any given Sunday, commiserate for, as blessed. But it is blessed only when we suffer and are persecuted for the right thing- for the son of man- Jesus! (Romans 8:17)God will deliver and hear the cries of those who are sidelined and ill-treated (Ps 71:19-21).
As Job was doing the good will of his father (though he did not, come to terms with it, or realize it himself), he was blessed. And God defended Job. Satan and Job’s friends were both embarrassed. Job was glorified. Sometimes the way we view life is a reflection of what we are in the inside, “’No. for you see me, Diamond dear,’ said the girl, and she looked down at him, and Diamond saw the loving eyes of the great lady beaming… [but for the wicked woman] ‘I had to make myself look like a bad thing… If I had put on any other shape than a wolf’s she would not have seen me, for that is what is growing to be her own shape inside of her’.”- At the back of the North Wind, George MacDonald. Diamond saw the loving eyes of the great Lady while the wicked woman saw a wolf in the great lady.What is it that we see? What do we see life as? What do we see in other people? What do we see God as? How do we think God see’s us?
But the greater lesson we are to learn is that in spite of what his friends did to him God asked Job to pray for them. The challenge here is to pray for our enemies or friends who wrongly found fault with us or blame us for something we are not responsible. The person who spends much time thinking about the evil caused to them, by others, is the one who suffers the most, while the one who caused it seems to be happy. We notice God asking Job to pray for his enemies and it is very interesting to note that, in Job 42:10 “the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave twice as much as he had before.” In forgiving others we are not only restored physically but emotionally and spiritually. His relationship with his friends was restored as a result of his restored relationship with his God. If we doubt whether God answers prayers, we should then pray for our enemies.
2) Sometimes the worst place can be the best and the best place can be the worst place
Seize the day.
Lot, Abraham’s Nephew, made hay while the sun shone and opted for the better, cleaner and greener pasture. But he never realized that the sun will shine so bright and burn his whole pasture. Lot was a successful guy. He would have probably, given the opportunity, written ‘7 ways to become successful’. Like anyone of us, he made the most of the options that were laid out before him.
The man who isn’t making the most noise isn’t heard. But the man who makes the most noise regardless of whether he is making any sense or not, is heard and acknowledged. So somebody made some noise and the voice was heard.
Abraham made the offer and accepted Lot’s better and greener choice (whether it was really clean we will see later). We notice that Abraham shows no sign of jealousy or avarice (Could it be because he had what he really needed?)
“And Diamond thought that, next to his own home, he had never seen any place he would like… For it is not fine things that make home a nice place, but your [family/friends] mother and father.” -At the back of the North Wind, George MacDonald.
We have to realize that the good things in life are really very simple- relationships; family, friends and God (in the place where He wants us to be). In thinking that he had found the best, Lot had actually found the worst.
Seize the opportunity
In spite of Lot’s vain-glorious human desire, we see Abraham interceding for his nephew. He didn’t think Lot and his lot deserved what they were about to receive as a result of their choice and Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin. We in turn see him crying out to God, seized the opportunity, and bargained, to find favor, for the sake of his nephew. Some lesson for us to learn. Many times we are here for people telling them what not to do, but we are rarely there for them after they have made a mistake. “The broad minded one is only ‘there’ for you not quite ‘here’ for you. While the narrow minded one is only ‘here’ and not quite ‘there’ for you. But you need to be here and there. And then there is only One who is here there and everywhere, He has found you but have we found him?” John 21:15-19
3) Sometimes bad things happen in the homes of good people
It isn’t strange to see that in homes of really good people we sometimes find the worst things happening. Police men’s children end up becoming crooks. Pharmacist’s children end up becoming pharmaceutical freaks, great saints children end up becoming great sinners. It is a sad state of affairs indeed. Here in the home of a particular woman, where one of old testaments great heroes lived, a death had occurred. And probably like many of us, who spiritualize anything and everything, the lady blamed Elijah for her son’s death. I Kings 17:18
Elijah had in the past only done her a good deed. In times of drought, he made miraculous provisions for her; unlimited oil and flour (I Kings 17:8-16). Now her son for some reason or the other died and left his mother wondering if the prophet had a hand in this transition- from life to death- her only son had gone through. But Elijah prayed and brought back life. For the son had only passed from life into eternal life (I Kings 17:21-22). Death isn’t a very strange occurrence; it meets our existence somehow-anyhow. Unlike what Buddha said to the poor widow, who came crying to him as a result of her son’s death, to bring mustard seeds from a home where death had never occurred, Elijah knew better, prayed earnestly and brought back life into her son. I Kings 17:23
Through prayer many sinners have become saints. Through his mothers prayer Augustine, a vile offender- dead, became a saint- Life! There are many dead situations, in our lives and in the lives of others, with regards to; broken homes, finances, health, emotional and mental strain, and depression. Pray for them!