Don’t be someone whom Satan overlooks

I’ve been reading Job. Something different struck me this time, as I read that first distressing chapter. Job lost everything: his children, his livestock, his wealth, his health and ultimately his hope. One person, however, remained: his wife.

I wondered about this. Why did Satan not afflict Job’s wife? When the children were killed, why did she survive? When Job was covered with oozing sores, why was she not?

There could not possibly be any grace on Satan’s part. He would not have decided to spare the one person about whom Job cared the most. Nor did God explicitly instruct that she be kept alive. He said at first that Job must remain unharmed, and later that his life must be spared, but it seems that Job’s wife was fair game.

Why did Satan leave her?

I don’t know for sure, but when I got to chapter 2, verse 10 I had a hunch. Job’s wife was likely the most precious and influential person in his life. Maybe Satan knew, that when push came to shove, she would say to him, as she did, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”

Imagine being that kind of wife. The kind whom Satan would leave untouched, with the knowledge that she was better use to him alive than dead. What a position of influence she had, and how devastating, that when a crisis came, she abandoned her faith and exhorted her husband to do the same.

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A Different Look at the Garbage Man…

662916_88280650When I was growing up, if you’d have asked me what was the lowest and least of all jobs, I’d probably have said ‘garbage collector.’

If you’d asked me again as an adult, I’d have been more diplomatic. I’d probably have spouted some jargon about every job being valuable and any aspiration being noble, but really I was just being politically correct. I mean, seriously, what a horrible job. Sure, someone has to do it, but surely not anyone I know.

Shame on me for my ignorance and stigmatising.

I have to say, that my mind has been drastically changed by the simple viewing of a TED talk. Robin Nagle challenged my stereotypes of garbage collection and radically reversed them. Never have I been so appreciative of those faithful people in that humble industry who are the lifeblood of our civilized society.

We have taken sanitation for granted for so long, we can hardly imagine the consequences of a society in which it doesn’t exist. We hold professionals such as doctors and nurses in high regard, crediting them with the management of our health and well-being, all the while forgetting how much we owe to those who are our first line of defense in the prevention of sickness and disease.

Have a watch of Nagle’s clip, and gain a new appreciation for these men and women who work tirelessly and often thanklessly behind the scenes.

When a Quadriplegic Christian Sings an Oscar-Nominated Song

When I think of one of the people who’s had the most inspiring influence on my life, I don’t think of a movie star or sports person, I think of a woman whose teenage diving accident left her as a quadriplegic.

Following her accident Joni Eareckson Tada struggled with deep depression and suicidal thoughts, but little did she know that despite a lifetime of pain and suffering, God was going to use her as one of the most inspiring and influential Christians of her time.

It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes by A.W. Tozer: “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt Him deeply.”[1] So often those most used by God, are those who, like Job, have learned to glorify Him from a place of absolute weakness.

Joni could have had no idea, that as she prayed to God asking him to give strength to her paralysed body, that he was about to use her to sing a song that was going to be nominated for an Oscar. The song Alone Yet Not Alone certainly came out of left field, with one composer saying: “You couldn’t even call it a dark horse. It was an invisible horse.”

Below is a clip of Joni singing the song, together with the prayer that God answered undoubtedly far beyond her expectation.

When we are weak, then we are strong.


[1] Tozer, A.W. The Root of The Righteous. Ch 39