Memory verse: Job 42:2: ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.’
Reading Status: ‘Red’ for almost caught up!
This was a huge week in the scriptures; from the strength of Esther, the tribulations and testing of Job and the beautiful words of the Psalms I have been filled!
Esther: another heroine who's strengths and characteristics we can learn a whole lot from.
-she was courageous
-she was a careful planner
-she was open to advice and willing to listen
-she was more concerned for others than her own security
What we can *learn form Esther's life:
-God has a purpose for every situation that He puts us in.
-Serving God often demands that we risk our own security.
These are both tough pills to swallow; I would dare to say that these both fall into the 'Easier said that done' category. Would you not agree?! It seems that I find myself asking God things like, 'Why me?', 'Why here?', or even better: 'Why NOT?!
Since the beginning of my unemployed, living-at-home, now working-for-almost minimum-wage season I have seen God's hand at work and have had my eyes open to some of His greater purpose. While I doubt that I will ever know every reason for my time here I do know that I am right where He wants me to be. I have also learned that I may not be here solely for my benefit but possibly others' as well; whether it be my parents, co-workers, people's names I do not know or people I have yet to meet, or never meet for that matter. We are all instruments in His greater plan and purpose. He doesn't promise us all pink roses, all the time; only the security in knowing we have eternal life in Him.
Job: (not to be confused with the J-O-B that I am diligently searching for. Ha!) was prosperous-he had thousands of cattle, sheep and other livestock to fill his pastures; a large , beautiful family that filled every seat at his dinner table. It appeared he had everything. Satan, ever the accuser, presented this argument to God: that Job trusted God because of his great health and wealth; he had never struggled in anything. To prove him wrong, God allowed Satan to bring destruction and devastation to Job. In the following chapters we see Job tested, advised by friends and finally, answered by God.
*Strengths:-He was a man of faith, patience and endurance
-He was known as a caring, generous man
What we can *learn form Job's life:
-Knowing God is better than knowing answers
-Pain is not always punishment
-God is not arbitrary or uncaring
Have you ever found yourself feeling like Job? Whether it be a decline in health, pay cut, loss of a job, loss of a friend or loved one, we have all experienced a case of 'I wish things were the same as back when...'
I found myself in a discount shoe store this weekend. For those of you that know me knows that this has the potential to be a very bad situation. Why not buy more since you are getting such a great deal?! That has been my shopping philosophy pretty much from the day I was born. But, due to my current financial situation, buying more does not save me any money; no money at all.
So now, on the off chance that I allow myself anywhere near new, shiny shoes, I have to stop and think what even a $15 pair of shoes is worth to me. Queen Justifier of any and all purchases has had to take a back seat and let me just tell you-she is not happy child-locked in back there. But, I can tell you that I have learned so much during this period of non-shopping; among many things I have successfully made it halfway through the B90X challenge (and fully intend to finish!) and been able to spend time with both new and old friends, getting to know them all much better.
Not being able to buy a new pair of shoes may sounds silly to you; for some it may be a true problem. The point, though, is not the finances to buy new shoes whenever a shiny pair calls your name but that we all have experienced times of 'What we once had' and times of adjustment. It's what we choose to learn from these periods that shapes us into the man or woman that God desires for us to be.
Psalms: such a beautiful book, I found myself in so many of the pages of this book. While almost every one of the spoke to me I have chosen one that really gripped me as I through it; the entire chapter ended up being underlined in my Bible!
'1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.'
*Book and character summaries taken from The Life Application Study Bible