25 November 2008

Great Doddington - Smoke or cloud?

Jody had prepared something from Job and took us through the entire book, picking out particular verses and passages to focus on how Job's understanding of himself and God changed. Smoke or cloud?We go through a similar process in life (and especially in mourning).

In Job 2:1-10 we see how he is resisting defeat and remains strong in spirit. He confronts his wife, 'Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?'.

But in chapter 3:1-5 we see that Job is now in deep despair and is cursing himself. He wishes he'd never been born.

In chapter 12, verses 1-4 he feels the world is laughing at him, he has become bitter.

Eventually Elihu comes on the scene; as the youngest person present he has been listening quietly but now feel he must speak up to say what the others have overlooked. In Job 32:1-5 he reminds Job and his friends that we may feel the need to justify ourselves but the Lord is beyond criticism. He does not need our justification, he can do whatever he wishes and cannot be held accountable. He is always right.

And in chapter 40, verse 7, the Lord himself speaks.

As we talked and prayed with Job fresh in our minds, the Spirit brought thoughts and images to mind.

Rachael described walking down some stairs, out through some heavy double doors, into the garden, and straight into his presence. We can relax in his presence and we can see and feel all of the good and amazing things that are there.

She also spoke about the difference between smoke and clouds, although they can seem superficially similar. Father tells us not to confuse the two and that he is showing us how to see the difference. And he told her, 'As you go back up the stairs - I am with you.'

Jody pointed out that smoke smells of burning, but clouds in the mountains smell clean, pure, and wonderful.

We laughed together at the idea of 'spiritnav' (like satnav, 'spiritnav' guides us). And just like satnav, where does the signal come from? From above!

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