Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Saturday, July 6, 2013


When times get bad, people cry out for help.
They cry for relief from being kicked around,
But never give God a thought when things go well,
when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts.
(Job 35:9-10)

Yup, Elihu continues making more sense than Job's other friends. Again, most of what he says resonates as true--just incomplete. His youth created a lack of perspective.

Take the verses above. People cry for help when things get bad. It's as true now as it was in Job's time. I've heard them called "foxhole prayers." (Forgive me my ignorance. Do soldiers still get in foxholes in battle?) Or when we're bargaining for escape from death. "Oh, God, I'll do anything you want, if only You . . ."

More likely than not, they neglect to fulfill their vow, until the next disaster.

I once read a two-book-in-one volume by Philip Yancey: Where is God when it Hurts? and Disappointment with God. Yancey's premise went something like this: God performed an experiment in giving His people everything they wanted or needed: on the journey to Canaan.

We all know the result: the people's faith didn't grow. It stagnated.

Our faith grows in the fire of trials, not in times of ease.

I won't go so far to say I don't think about God when things go well. But He does grab my attention when things go badly.

As far as the spontaneous songs in my heart, I'm always humming or singing. If I'm singing without thinking about it, I'm usually happy. When I'm unhappy, I sing hymns (or play piano, if I can get to one). They sooth my soul and refocus my mind on God. So music, for me, usually focuses my attention back on God.

I will admit that when things are going well, I'm not as inclined to change. Why should I stop doing something when God appears to be blessing me? I'm talking about my ministry, work, whatever God has put my hand to do. As long as God keeps the door open, stay put. When He shuts it, go on to the next things.

We won't know the door is shut without some pain.

Enjoy the times of spontaneous song--and reach for God when we are kicked around. Good advice.

I will close today with some oh-so-true words from Elihu:

If God is silent, what's that to you?
If he turns his face away, what can you do about it?
But whether silent or hidden, he's there, ruling. (Job 34:29-30

If God is silent, what’s that to you?
If he turns his face away, what can you do about it?
But whether silent or hidden, he’s there, ruling
(Job 34:29-30)

Cindy, this one is for you. :)

1 comment:

  1. Great thought...though I don't love pain, in any shape or form. :) Hope you are feeling better.