Job continued to speak:
"How I wish for the months that have passed
and the days when God watched over me.
God's lamp shined on my head,
and I walked through darkness by his light.
I wish for the days when I was strong, '
when God's close friendship blessed my house.
The Almighty was still with me,
and my children were all around me.
It was as if my path were covered with cream
and the rocks poured out olive oil for me.
I would go to the city gate,
and sit in the public square
When the young men saw me,
they would step aside,
and the old men would stand up in respect.
The leading men stopped speaking
and covered their mouths with their hands.
The voices of the important men were quiet,
as if their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
Anyone who heard me spoke well of me,
and those who saw me praised me,
because I saved the poor who called out
and the orphan who had no one to help.
SITUATION Job described his role in the community. He may have been a judge or city official. In his position he sought justice and cared for the needy.
OBSERVATION Be careful to avoid pride because of your status. Job did not use his position for evil.
INSPIRATION The little house made me think of pictures I'd seen of the United States during the Depression. Unlit kerosene lanterns (no electricity). Basins of water to wash up in (no running water). A wall lined with well-worn hoes, shovels, and picks (no modern equipment). The kitchen was a separate hut that sat next to the front door of the house. I was intrigued by the stove. It was made of hard, backed mud, molded in a long narrow piece about four feet long and three feet tall. A four or five inch tough ran down the center to hold the wood. The ever-present pots cooking the beans and rice straddled the hot trough. I felt a long way from Rio.
Senor Jose took me on a tour through his segment of the world. For thirty-seven years he had plowed and tilled his two acres. It was obvious that he knew every hole and turn.
"I fed fourteen mouths off this land," he smiled, fingering a lettuce plant. "Where did you say you were from?"
"What do you do there?"
I explained a bit about my work...
"A missionary, huh?" Your job must be pretty easy."
"How's that?" I asked.
"I have not trouble believing in God. After I see what he has done on my little farm, year after year. It is easy to believe." He smiled another toothless grin and yelled to his wife to bring out some beans.
As we drove home, I couldn't help thinking about senor Jose. My, what a simple life. No traffic jams, airline schedules, or long lines. Far removed from Wall Street, IRS, and mortgages, unacquainted with Johannine theology, Martin Luther, or Christian evidences.
I thought of his faith, his ability to believe, and his surprise that there were some who couldn't. I compared his faith with others I knew had more difficulty believing; a university student, a wealthy import-export man, an engineer. There was such a difference between Jose and the others.
His faith was rooted in the simple miracles that he witnessed every day.
A small seed becoming a towering tree.
A thin stalk pushing back the earth.
A rainbow arching in the midst of the thundercloud.
It was easy for him to believe. I can see why. Someone who witnesses God's daily display of majesty doesn't find the secret of Easter absurd. Someone who depends upon the mysteries of nature for his livelihood doesn't find it difficult to depend on an unseen God for his salvation.
God's testimony. When was the last time you witnessed it? A stroll though knee-high grass in a green meadow? An hour listening to seagulls or looking at seashells on the beach? Or witnessing the shafts of sunlight brighten the snow on a crisp winter dawn. Miracles that almost match the magnitude of the empty tomb happen all around us; we only have to pay attention. (From No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado)
APPLICATION Look around. What can you observe that speaks mightily about God's care and concern in your family, in nature, and in world events? Use your simple discovery in a conversation with a younger person this week. Help that person to built trust in God.
EXPLORATION God's Care-- Psalm 10:17-18; Proverbs 23:10-11; 1 Peter 3:15-16.
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado General Editor; New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers