Monday, October 15, 2012

"Just Another Day Outside the Garden" October 15,2012

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When I was young, I used to be surprised by the bad things that happened to God’s people. I may have been immature enough to entertain the thought that a relationship with God would mean immunization against suffering. I have met hundreds of believers who are like Job’s friends who always assume that suffering is a consequence of one’s disobedience. Recently during several back to back trials, I was sharing with a friend about the confidence that these trials were not judgment but rather “just another day outside the garden.” As I said that phrase it, it captured my heart and has become an encouraging guard on my soul whenever disappointment knocks on my door again. Job penned a description that clearly frames “just another day outside the Garden.”

“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14:1

 Notice that the days are FEW but these few days are FULL of trouble. Personally I would prefer having full days with few troubles. When I looked up the word “trouble” in Hebrew it means violent emotion of anger, fear, tremble, torment, rage and restlessness. Consider the reality that man’s days are full of these negative synonyms.  These synonyms are so negative but they are part of “just another day outside the garden.” Although my relationship with God is not immunization against torment, restlessness or trials, my relationship with God gives me privileged access to sufficient grace that sustains me during a day “full of trouble.”

Treasures Missed While Waiting for Perfection

As I have been meditating on this phrase, I have encountered one more nugget. During a moment of great challenge and chaos, I almost passed on time spent with dear friends. The chaos (house half-flooded) seemed like a justifiable “excuse” to not have friends from Seattle stay in our home. Ken and I decided to graciously welcome our friends and we learned an invaluable lesson. Too often people miss the treasures that are hidden amidst the chaos of our lives while waiting for perfection to be restored or attained. Having guests in our home during the flood chaos, allowed for moments of priceless fellowship that we would have missed waiting for our house to be returned to “perfection!”