Daily (depressing) Reading!

My “read the bible in a year” plan on my iPhone, by strange coincidence, had me read both Job chapter 3 and Jonah chapter 4 today.  For those that are familiar, or care to read them, these are two of the most depressing chapters in the Bible.  Job is cursing the day he was born, wishing he had never lived.  And Jonah, upset that God saved the Ninevites, becomes negative and petty, exclaiming that he wants to die because his shade vine withered.

Of course these examples are extreme, but they both are examples of the fact that we will often not be able to draw life from our circumstances.  When I say “life,” I mean the sense that things are good, we are loved, significant, and secure.  These are the basic needs of life that we chase after, and all of them can be met in the Lord if we trust him.

But, like Job and Jonah, we are in our circumstances.  We often cannot escape our circumstances.  And sometimes that really sucks.  Thankfully, my daily reading plan also included Hebrews 10, which tells what Job and Jonah only looked forward to with hope: That Christ has broken down the barriers between God and man, and we can “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:22-23).

When we draw near, we find that God is the source of life.  In Him, our circumstances become less significant.  His still small voice comforts us, reminding us of His love for us and His calling on our lives to be about something bigger than our immediate circumstances.

Father, I have felt a bit like Jonah and Job these last few months.  Like Jonah, I have allowed somewhat petty issues to distract my attention.  Father, help me to draw near to you and drink deeply of the living water that comes only from you.  Restore my focus to be on your kingdom.  Open my eyes to what you are doing. And give me a thankful heart. I have a truly wonderful family and a great job.  My students are a treasure.  Renew my heart!

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