I had heard of you by hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Job 42:5
I wait for that magical moment to arrive when the puzzled look gives way to the “ah ha” moment. It is the intangible reward of teaching that I cherish the most. Furrowed brows untangle, dulled eyes light up and twisted mouths break open into smiles of pure joy when it happens. The audible “Oh’s” are like the applause given for a great performance. The moment when understanding breaks through doubt is priceless.
In Job 42, Job is expressing his “ah ha” moment with God. Up until this point in time, he could spit back the memorized lines from the Torah of his youth, stand firm on what he had been taught in the synagogue about the nature of God, withstand the nagging of his wife to recant, endure the dissuasion of his friends, question the purpose of the Almighty, but not feel a peace in his heart. He had done everything right, but he had not yet fully, deeply and personally understood and connected with God. He knew the right things to think, but he did not understand. The math formula did not quite make sense.
Job knew all the right spiritual answers. He knew that God controlled all things. He knew it wasn't right telling God what was happening to him was wrong. He knew he should trust God, but just he just didn’t. He was going through the motions of trust with doubt still holding on in his heart. Just like a math student, he could work the problem, but he didn’t fully comprehend it.
I don’t know about you but there have been many times in my life when I have gone through the motions of being spiritually strong, but in my heart, I was emotionally terrified. I have doubted my decisions. I have wondered if God was truly in control. I have struggled with unanswered prayer. I have envied the wealth and belongings of those who weren’t following God and wondered why we couldn’t be so blessed. In my head, I knew what God could do, but I in my heart I didn’t believe He would do it.
Fortunately, God didn’t leave Job in a state of uncertainty. He welcomed Job’s questions. He absorbed Job’s anger and He waited. He waited for Job’s rote knowledge to sink deeply into Job’s heart and penetrate his soul turning that knowledge into understanding. God waited for Job’s “ah ha” moment.
In the same way, God waits for our “ah ha” moments. And like a good teacher, He patiently guides, corrects, listens, and redirects us by scaffolding the learning in our lives to begin where we are and build to where He wants us to be. He moves us one step at a time from the shallow pool of rote learning to the deep well of understanding. So that just like Job we can say, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
I pray that as we struggle to understand the tough places in our lives today, our brows will unfurl and our eyes will light up with a true understanding of the love, provision, and protection of God causing us to utter an audible gasp because now “we get it.” And just like Job, we can honestly say, “but now my eye sees you.”
Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose, and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1: 9-10.
Sometimes I struggle with knowing what my purpose is, especially in the transitional stages of my life. College. Career. Marriage. Kids. Staying home. Ministry. School aged-children. Teens. Back to work. Graduates. Empty nest. Married children. Menopause. Job changes. Friend changes. House changes. Elderly parents. Health issues. Hair issues.
Each time a new phase starts in my life, I start asking myself, “Where do I belong? How do I fit into this new space?” You see, for me life changes are like trying to replace a favorite pair of jeans, I struggle with them until the new pair becomes the old pair. I am a slow to launch introvert. It takes me awhile to adjust to life’s alterations. Familiar makes me feel safe, secure, and confident. New makes me feel unsteady and unsure as if I am wandering in the wilderness after dark tripping and stumbling over unseen rocks and roots.
The beauty of 2 Timothy 1:9-10 is that my purpose isn’t about me. It’s not about finding my way through a strange city without the aid of Google maps. It’s not about finding the job that gives me passion and fulfills me. It’s not about raising perfect children or Pintresting my house perfectly. It’s not about me at all. It’s about Him. I don’t have to work at finding my purpose. My purpose isn’t something to be found; it is something to be experienced. My purpose is a calling. My purpose is a calling to a relationship. My purpose is a calling to love and follow Jesus.
When I love and follow Jesus, God fulfills his purpose in me. I don’t have to struggle with knowing what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I just need to love and follow Jesus trusting God to take care of the rest. I need to trust that He will bring purpose to all the unsettling transitions in my life.
So as I navigate each new uneasy season of life, I need to put my heart and soul at ease knowing that God’s guiding grace is steadying my topsy-turvy world with meaning and purpose.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.