Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Strapped In the Runaway Vehicle!

"Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him." (Job 13:5)

The book of Job is one notorious for its in-depth examination of suffering. Any who have faced serious trials, including parents whose child had a special need, should become well-acquainted with this book of the Bible.

When we face trials of this nature, so often it feels like we're passengers in a car that's careening out of control. We can see the disaster rushing towards us, and we are powerless to stop it. It may be our child's health, that despite best efforts, will never be "normal". It may be that job at a place which has become the latest victim of a bad economy. A pay cut or lay-off is imminent in spite of all our hard work. It could even be that relationship that has deteriorated to the point where nothing we could do would ever get it turned around.

We're left feeling utterly crushed, demeaned and angry. How awful to feel so utterly inadequate at times like these! Is there anything worse than being able to see trouble headed our way and being completely unable to do one thing about it? We're strapped in! We can't even get out of trouble's way!

While trials in life are inevitable for every human, peace can be available to us depending upon who is driving the car. Are circumstances driving the car? Well, then you're in trouble because we have little control over many, if not most of life's circumstances. Are the opinions of others driving the car? Well, then you're in trouble because the opinions of others are fickle, and you can often find two people who will have very different opinions to inflict upon you. Is the prevailing wisdom of the culture driving the car? Well, then you're in trouble because, so often the culture is just flat out wrong. Are your inner strength, intuition and emotions driving the car? Well, then you're in trouble because each human has the tendency to be irrational at times. There are just some situations that are too huge for ANY human to handle.

The only lasting hope and assurance of peace we have is when we agree to let our Maker take control of our tail-spin. Time and again God proves Himself faithful in the stomach-churning moments of life. He alone can see the blind spots that are outside of our line of vision. And no one like God has the sovereign power to fully control a situation.

Now, this is not to say that the Lord is going to take away every horrible trial that we see as pointless. Just as we as parents realize that the icky medicine will benefit our child in the long run, so our loving Father can see the big picture of the good fruit that only suffering can yield. Should we think we know better, He reminds us Who is in control: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much." (Job 38:4, NLT)

Our loving Lord never falls asleep at the wheel, though it may seem He does. Rest in the assurance that when you place Him in full control of the driver's seat, you may not have a perfect trip, but you will arrive safely, having been transformed through the journey.

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