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Job 36:16, “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.”

This verse is from the Book of Job. A friend of Job’s named Elihu made this insightful comment to Job. Elihu, a young man who seems to sit back and listen to all the comments made regarding Job from friends and from Job himself, delivers thoughtful words. When Elihu delivers his message, he is angry at Job and Job’s friends for not considering the truth in God’s actions. While Job was going on and on about his own righteousness, and his friends were condemning Job, a young voice offers a third option. “Could God be using this to draw Job into a stronger relationship with Him?”

Most of us look at our hardships as Satanic attacks. We view obstacles or sadness as possibly ways God has forgotten us. We may even consider, God is punishing us for not being this or that for Him; but, could He be wooing us from a dangerous situation? Could He be pulling us from the jaws of distress? Could it be, He knows a bigger picture, a bigger plan, and a bigger purpose?

Psalm 66:11 – 12, “You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”

Could the very fire and water be the method to bring us to the abundant place?

When I was a boy, we played a game similar to what kids play now but a tad different. I hear the youth at Church asking, “Would you rather __________________ (slide down a hill in a used port-a-potty) or ___________________ (eat moose intestines).” They fill in all kinds of gross stuff, forcing the other person to choose between the extremes.  Our game was more like, “Would you slide down a hill in a used port-a-potty if you knew afterwards you could spend a week in a billionaires house in the lap of luxury?” The way we played it was taking the awful momentarily for the benefit later.

Elihu is asking Job and the friends to consider the possibility what God is doing is for a result far better than any of them could imagine – a result that brings Job closer to God; a result that makes Job see something he has never seen before. Verse 26 Elihu remarks, “How great is God – beyond our understanding!” 

I do not know what you are going through right now or what is up ahead for you. Maybe you are suffering from the consequences of a bad decision on your part or someone else’s part. Maybe you are going through a situation you had nothing to do with. Whatever it is, know this, “…One perfect in knowledge is with you.”  That One is our God.

My prayer for you today is through your trials and suffering may you find the abundant place in Jesus Christ.


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