February 6, 2010 – Devotional

Thought for the day:
I came across this phrase quoted by one of Job’s “comforters” and gave it thought while taking my Sunday walk. Listen to the statement he makes to Job, “He raises up the down and out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief”. From that statement my mind went to the verse where we are promised that he will not try us beyond that which we are able, but with the trial provide a way of escape. Job was convinced that he had been pushed way past his threshold of pain, suffering, and grief, convinced that God really didn’t know his tolerance level and had long since passed that line. Much of what his comforters said was true, they just spoke facts about God with no heart for Job’s predicament.
I often wondered as I watch saints face awful trials, why them and not me? It seems at times that some are plagued, while others go through life seemingly untouched. I’m not claiming to understand the providence and wisdom of our God, but I’m able to find great comfort in the promise that before your head drops below the water’s surface, your feet will touch firm footing. The hope we have that no matter the trial, no matter how consumed we become with the seeming hopelessness of our crises, God says there’s an end. It’s the promise of the light at the end of the tunnel, the comforting fact that every trial is temporary, and the guarantee of an eternal life in God’s home, where we are welcomed. There, we are free of the hardships of life, introduced to humanity when they refused God their creator.
There will be no finger pointing when humanity faces the consequences brought on by sin, but what a contrast when it comes to our Saviour. Death, and all the sorrow that proceeds death, had no rights to the life of the Saviour. He could have easily marched through His life on earth completely immune and separate from the obvious turmoil and widespread suffering brought on by our sin.
“My heart is exceeding heavy,” he said. “Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow….. I looked for some to take pity…. for comforters, but there was none.”
I thought of this holy, pure, righteous One, who tells us the details of that storm of God’s divine wrath. Wave after wave broke over His holy soul. He sank beneath them, the wrath of the storm consuming the little craft. Every cavity is filled, and staying above the surface of this storm is becoming impossible. The grief, suffering, and loneliness which made up the ingredients of this righteous storm, overwhelming Him.
Can it be said that God knew His threshold, His boundary of tolerance? Will God spare Him and not try Him beyond that which He is able? With the trial, will He be provided with a way of escape?
I often think of this expression, though I openly confess I cannot understand it- the words are of the Saviour just before His head slips below the surface of the water, “I sink in deep mire where there is no standing.” No hope of salvation, no halting before it’s too late, no preventing the suffering from passing the boundary of His tolerance, no providing for Him a way of escape, NO FIRM FOOTING FOR HIM as He sank in the mire of our sin.
I began to feel very small, and found my heart full of thanksgiving, as again I understood that, ‘all my sins were laid on Jesus….God who knew them laid them on Him, and believing I go free.’ The wonder is that he spared not his Son, but delivered Him up for us all.
How amazing is the statement of Gods love. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.’ He lived His earthly life knowing all that would soon cross His path. He knew fully the cost of our forgiveness and salvation, but for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame.

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