Knowing God

Job 42:5-6
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

This had been such a counfounding experience for Job.  He didn’t understand what was happening to him or why.  He didn’t know what his future held or if there was an end in sight for his suffering.  He faced the gaping emptiness of his losses, the sadness of all that was gone, and the pain of his physical ailment.  And eventually, God would restore twofold what he’d lost and give to him ten more children and many years to enjoy it all.  But perhaps the greatest thing he gained from his experience was this fresh vision of God.

It’s one thing to know of God but quite another to truly know Him.  And our knowledge of God and our understanding of Him is something that should grow as we continue to walk with Him.  And don’t we often find that it is in those dark moments that we can come to see Him in a new way?  Isn’t it often in the struggles and challenges of life that we can appreciate Him in a deeper way than we had before?  So perhaps the most important result of any experience is that we come out of it knowing God better.

God gives us glimpses of Himself so we know who He is, and that tells us a lot about who we are—and who we are not.  It changes how we see ourselves to look into the bigness and the greatness and the holy perfection of God.  It challenges us at times to see His love and grace and mercy compared to what is in us.  It humbles us to understand all the great things He has done and how powerful He is but yet to see how much He cares about us and what we’re dealing with.  And so when our perspective shifts and we catch that glimpse out of the corner of our eye, where else can we go but to our knees?

So maybe when Job looked back, he could appreciate that gift this experience had given him.  Perhaps he could be thankful that though he suffered much, he also was able to learn much.  And maybe we can do the same.  We can look for God in the midst of our hardship.  We can learn something new about our great God.  We can experience something of Him that would have been impossible to experience without some difficult situation.  And we can be thankful we were able to see God in a way we never saw Him before.

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