Will your grace run out
if I let you down
cos all I know is how to run
cos I am a sinner
if it's not one thing it's another
you are a saviour
and take brokenness aside
and make it beautiful
THERE IS one book in the Bible I had almost always overlooked whenever I opened it. Each time I would flip the pages and land in that part, I'd quickly skip it as if it were a contagious disease. I had never read it in full because it seemed so depressing, yet today while reading it I was surprised to discover it ended...as a happy ending. In fact, one of the happiest I had read in the bible. And such a story it is!
So here's how it goes:
Job's life is an ongoing series of unfortunate events (leaving you to ask yourself, can you get as unlucky as this guy?) and he resorts to blaming and resenting God for his circumstances. Just when you're wondering how many more pages of this lamenting....then suddenly you see Job repenting before God. At first God tells him to pray for his two friends who spoke falsely about God. When he does God makes him prosperous two times over. This tells me...God loves it when we pray for others. But Job's post-prayer prosperity are only a preview of greater blessings to come. His family come and dine with him to encourage and support him, leaving him silver and gold jewellery. Not only does he become extremely wealthy, but he is blessed with many children, three daughters of whose names are mentioned. Yet the son's names aren't mentioned. This is a stark contrast from the beginning of the story where the sons are mentioned throwing elaborate parties and being the centre of Job's attention. That was the story up until now.
Now, things have changed. Job gives his daughters an inheritance along with his sons (pretty much unheard of in those days!). What's more, it's even mentioned that 'nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters' (v.15). I was like wow. I'm sure Job didn't pray that his daughters would be the beauty queens of the land...yet God made them the most beautiful not only in their town, but in all the land. Talk about blessings more than you even ask for! Job is also blessed to see fourth generation descendants before he dies 'old and full of age'(v.17)...a lot of great grandkids I bet since he had ten children! and he didn't die just old...but having experienced a full life. Truly, 'The Lord blessed the latter part of his Job's life more than the first' (Job42:12).
To me, this story shows that when we repent, God brings the best into our lives. He blesses us in all areas of our lives and he wants us to let him. He's always waiting for us to repent and come back to him for him to make our brokenness into something beautiful.."He makes everything beautiful in its time" (Ecc 3:11).
Indeed, the beginning of our journey doesn't define the ending.
It's pretty amazing how Job repents with only a few verses. He doesn't repent for years and years for the many years of bitterness and anger he hurled toward God. He doesn't work tirelessly in the desert for years to earn God's forgiveness. He simply and genuinely repents before God and that is enough for God to accept his heart. God's grace acts immediately to bless him and shift his circumstances. This reminded me of the time I was so caught up in feeling like I had to repent repeatedly after I felt like I was never able to overcome my weaknesses and so hopelessly a sinner. Later on God made me realise first the fight is His, not mine (Exodus14:14). Secondly, all He requires from us is a genuine act of repentance, no strings attached. Then we don't dwell on our sins and our hopelessness but move on focussing our eyes on God who gives us strength and hope to do so.
Sure, I would never be perfect and even if I didn't commit the same sin again, it's inevitable that I'd commit all sorts of other sin. Repentance is a lifelong cycle I need to consistently engage myself in to reflect on whether I'm living as a child of God, a disciple of Jesus. All God wants to hear is 'I am sorry God' and a heart that is willing to learn from sins of the past. Time and time again, He doesn't condemn but encourages instead...'let's try a little better this time ok? you can do it cos I got your back'.
This is grace. This is love.
So thankful for second chances, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't stand a chance !
How great is God?