Meditations by John Dean

Monday, August 20, 2012

Being Lost

(Job 23:10-11 NKJ) But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.

A person can learn a lot about themselves from studying the book of Job. I have read this book many times over the years and each time I read it my emotions seem to run the gamut as to what was on Job’s mind when he was being tested. Even though God referred to Job as the most righteous man on earth, Job never insinuated (because of his righteousness) that he was beyond being tested.

Perhaps it was the way that Job was tested that makes one “kinda scratch his head.” I have come to the conclusion that the reason Job was tested so severely was because he lived such a righteous life.

According to our text, Job seemed to be bursting with confidence that he would come through this test as refined gold. I find this interesting in light of the fact that he did not seem to understand why he was being tested in the first place. Such confidence had to be the result of Job having “...kept His way and not turned aside.”

One of the lessons we learn from Job is that even though he did not understand the reason for his test, he did understand that God was “just” and that everything was going to work out alright.

The personal test that I want to share is minuscule compared to Job’s test, but I believe it is one that many folks—particularly older folks—can relate to. A couple of days ago I arose early in order to drive three and a half hours from San Antonio to Houston for several appointments.

My first appointment was at a familiar address that I had driven to many times over the years and therefore I knew it well. However, this particular morning, upon arriving in Houston I decided to take a new route to my meeting place. I was confident I would not have any problem finding the place. Besides that, I have always had an exceptionally keen since of direction as well as a feel for where I was.

Little did I know that I was about to have an experience that day that would forever shatter my prideful self-confidence of direction. As I turned off the beltway on to a familiar street that was only blocks from my destination, I suddenly lost all sense of direction and ended up missing my meeting.

I immediately began analyzing my problem because this did not make any sense to me at all. It was so ridiculous that I even thought, “Do I have dementia or some other physical problem that I am not aware of?” I finally came to the conclusion that the problem I was having that day was not physical, but it was God dealing with my pride as He had done with Job.

A side lesson I learned that day was having compassion for older folks who become disoriented and confused and really do lose their way. I cannot imagine how they must feel (as a result of their confusion) to be suddenly in a world that is totally un-familiar to them. I felt I had a taste of that world for a little while that day.

Perhaps Job’s test was not the result of him not being righteous, but because God was working something deeper into Job’s life. I now believe that God was also trying to work out something deeper in my life as well. Since that day in Houston I have learned to rely on God for even the smallest of things in my life. Perhaps that is why Paul said, “...I die daily” (1Corinthians15:31 KJV).

Thank You for reminding me that the closer I walk with You…the closer I need to walk with You. Self-reliance is a wonderful thing, but God reliance is better.

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