Not because I'm perfect and upright.
Not because I suffered great trials in the midst of serving God with all my heart.
Not because I have three sorry friends... miserable comforters.
Not because I have boils.
You know how sometimes it's so easy to relate to whichever Bible character you're reading about?
When I read Psalm, I can relate to King David like I've been with him every step of the way.
I usually understand Paul.
I get where Peter's coming from.
... et cetera.
I can look at their lives and see pieces of my own.
I've never, ever been able to relate to Job.
I've never had anything in common with him.
Unlike Job, if I suffer it's because I've brought it on myself. Period.
But, last night I was skipping around in Job and saw something I've seen before, but have never really stopped to consider.
So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning...
I love Job's ending!
It makes me hug myself.
I love Job's submission to God's will, the way he finally says, "Lord you know everything, things too wonderful for me which I knew not. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
I love that when the storm had passed and calm had come, God accepted Job and blessed him with twice as much as he ever had.
I wonder what God and Job's relationship was like from then on? How wonderful it must've been! Job knew God in a new way from that point forward.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
I think that Job must've sat on his back porch, drinking tea, looking over the rolling green hills full of plenty, thanking God for the ten children he'd been given, and said in his heart,"Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing and my sackcloth into gladness".
I think he must've remembered the way things were before and held some sadness in his heart, the ache of loss.
And he must've remembered the hurt of suffering, shuddering in horror.
But he must've felt wave after wave of gratefulness for the ending God gave him, the new beginning, the fresh start anew.
And that, right there, is where I can finally relate to Job.
Because I'm sitting on my 'back porch', feeling that same wave after wave of deep down gratefulness, and saying in my heart... "I like dancing".
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing:
thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and be not silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.
- Psalm 31:11-12