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Before him lay joy and honor, a long and fruitful life, double
his past prosperity and the fathering of a superb new family.
(Job 42:11-17; compare Job 1:2-3) Job had everything to live for.
The shadow of his affliction fell across his life like a black and bottomless chasm. Reeling under hellish torment, bereft of all his children, cruelly stripped of his reputation, all of his possessions gone, Job coveted death. As far as the eye could see, there was nothing ahead but pain, accusations and despair. Job had nothing to live for (Job 3:1-26; 6:9, 11). Or so everyone thought.
Before him lay joy and honor, a long and fruitful life, double his past prosperity and the fathering of a superb new family. (Job 42:11-17; compare Job 1:2-3) Job had everything to live for.
Hounded by defeat,
Immersed in gloom.
Confounded by a curse,
Scorned and spurned.
Haunted by despair,
Mocked by words of doom.
My eyes may fill with tears,
But not with dread or fear.
This grub, wings will sprout.
This down-trodden worm will soar;
Transformed by redemptive power,
Set free by the Lord of all.
No one sees it yet:
The secret's heaven-kept.
They mock and jeer
They do not know;
Success is slow, but it is sure;
Though it tarry, it will come.
All Father touches turns to gold.
It matters not what others say,
The winning's done;
Like Father, like son!
Founded on his Word;
Embalmed by love.
Surrounded by his arms;
Washed and warmed.
Granted all I need,
Buoyed by thoughts above:
From fear I find release,
Becalmed by heaven's peace.
Like vine branches, we are not continually laden with fruit. That would be unnatural. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) For a significant portion of its life, a grapevine is nothing but a dry, twisted stick; fruitless, useless for shade, worthless as timber; to all appearances fit only to be ripped from the ground and reduced to ashes. Yet those barren times are as vital in the life of the vine, as the seasons of fruit.
If spring could tip-toe past nature without stirring it from its winter slumber; if the sun could slip through the sky without dispelling the night; if rain could fall to the ground without bringing life to the desert - only then should you fear dry times, dark times, lean times. Though you feel as useless as a fur coat in a heat-wave, the time will come when your warmth is treasured. For everything there is a season.
We could stock a library with stories of spectacularly unsuccessful men and women who eventually sparked massive moves of God. Many closed their eyes in death without seeing the fruit their labors finally produced.
God established the pattern millenniums ago: Sarah knew nothing but barrenness for ninety distressing years, yet became the ancestress of multiplied millions.
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