A Happy Ending?

I see it now,
how wrong I have been,
how I thought I had the answers,
trotted out my glib assurances,
spoke
when really I had no idea.
I said to much
and listened to you
too little;
said things about you
rather than hearing from you

and now, here I am.
I see that you can do
what you will do,
you will do
what you need to,
it’s not me
in control.

Help me Lord,
to work with you,
not rile against you,
to speak with understanding,
not trot out
what I’ve heard.
May I speak as I hear you,
and say as I see you
in truth
and reality.

From my place of despair
take me to a place of hope
in you.

Job 42:1-6, 10-17 (CEV)

Job’s Reply to the Lord

No One Can Oppose You

42 Job said:

No one can oppose you,
because you have the power
    to do what you want.
You asked why I talk so much
    when I know so little.
I have talked about things
that are far beyond
    my understanding.
You told me to listen
    and answer your questions.
I heard about you from others;
now I have seen you
    with my own eyes.
That’s why I hate myself
and sit here in dust and ashes
    to show my sorrow.

A Happy Ending

10 After Job had prayed for his three friends, the Lord made Job twice as rich as he had been before. 11 Then Job gave a feast for his brothers and sisters and for his old friends. They expressed their sorrow for the suffering the Lord had brought on him, and they each gave Job some silver and a gold ring.

12 The Lord now blessed Job more than ever; he gave him fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand pair of oxen, and a thousand donkeys.

13 In addition to seven sons, Job had three daughters, 14 whose names were Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren Happuch. 15 They were the most beautiful women in that part of the world, and Job gave them shares of his property, along with their brothers.

16 Job lived for another one hundred forty years—long enough to see his great-grandchildren have children of their own— 17 and when he finally died, he was very old.

Two sides.  The place of abject despair, of realisation of rock bottom – and the place of hope. Does our journey end in sackcloth and ashes, in pain and anguish?  Will there be a happy ending for me and my story?

This apparent ‘happy ever after’ ending is an expression of hope and faith.  That everything will be OK, because God is in charge.  I’m not convinced our happy ending will always look like Jobs, in fact life has shown me that often it won’t – but in the world where Job lived, long life, wealth and happiness were the expression that God was happy with you, and we have to read this ending in that context.

Our happy ending may look very different.  It may not look so happy and rosy.  We may still be in a place of distress and pain.  But, from the place of sackcloth and ashes, we may come to a place of hope, of blessing, of knowledge and security of God’s love – and a place of peace.  It may not look like Job’s happy ending, but we can still find that place of rest and security that God is with us, and though we may not understand – he does.  There is our hope.

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