A Savage Conversation
"Don't! Abigail, don't even think about it. I do not want you to do, think, or even feel anyway that pulls you away from me. I want you and all of you. Give me everything that burdens you. Let me handle it all. I need only one thing from you, to sit in my presence trusting that I am with you every step of the way."
As much as we all want to assume that God speaks to us in a calm voice, I want you to know that sometimes He gets savage and pulls the dad card. You know that tone that causes you to stop everything you're doing because you know that what is about to be said isn't negotiable. Well, this conversation wasn't up for opinions.
Though I seem to share positive and cheerful pieces with you all, today's going to be an exception to that expectation. Today is about a conversation I recently had with my Father and how sometimes in the midst of the game, God will call a time out so that he can give you the talk. The very same he had with Job in Job 38 - 42:6 ( side note: this is my favorite section of Job but we can talk about that another day because I don't want to exceed my word count so let's keep it moving…for now).
Plenty of Christian leaders speak on how God allowed Job to be tried and how at the end of it all, just before God restored everything in Job's life, God had to have an unfiltered conversation with Job. I sometimes sit there and wonder, "man God, you allowed the man to go through hell on earth and back! Why did you have to rebuke him too? I mean don't you think that man had gone through enough? You gave the man four chapters of verbal discipline. Why though?"
When I asked those questions, I ended up getting rebuked too.
Yes, Job went through a moment in his life that I would never wish upon anyone, but it was necessary for Job. Yes, I know the beginning of the book of Job sets up a conversation with God and Satan, but I don't believe that God allowed the adversary to test Job just because he wanted only to prove a point. I mean look at it?!
'Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person. ” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord .'
- Job 1:6-12 (NKJV)
God knew about Job so well that he was willing to allow him to face his most massive hurricane knowing full well that Job would still overcome at the end. God knew though Job wasn't perfect, his integrity was. I don't believe that this was about how powerful God is in comparison to the enemy. Instead, I see that this is how through pain and hurt, those who have the ability and the awareness to choose what is right and choose God even when it's not publicized are the ones that can face the most massive, nastiest, and trying hurricanes life can through. I don't believe that God was bragging about himself but actually about how pleased he was with Job even before the trials began.
See, God is the Father of everything. Though I'm not a father, I know that there is nothing as pleasing and fulfilling than to know that your child is someone who even if you weren't in their presence they would continue to exhibit the very same integrity as if you were there with them. I know that without a doubt, a child can only show the world how wonderful their parents are by how they are when mom and dad aren't around.
I remember when I was growing up in Ghana, my mother prioritized education and decided to make sure I was attending the best school in our town. Now, I can't remember much, but up to this day, my mother brags to me how pleased she's always been with me when it came to my education. (Not bragging here, just giving a shoutout to how amazing my mom is!)
I didn't bother my mother with my schooling because I knew that what was right was for me to do what my mother expected of me. That's when I realized that this is what integrity means — choosing to do what is right even when no one is looking. Pleasing God is choosing to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord even when all feels lost.
Just like how my mother was willing to work day in and day out to make sure I had all I needed to succeed, so does God. He continues to protect me in ways I cannot imagine. And when obstacles come my way, I've come to realize that those are opportunities for me to show the world and my adversary that though I wasn't in the beginning of time like God told Job, I am his. I am strong beyond understanding.
Just as my Father in heaven does right by all even when it hurts, I have the opportunity to love and do right by each person when hurricanes surface. I see so much of Job in us. We don't always like the seasons we face, but each hardship is a chance to be pruned and bear the fruit of integrity and faithfulness. We cannot allow anything to stop us from entirely using our opportunities to show up and represent the glory of God that dwells within us.
So what if you got hurt? Yeah, it sucks. So what if you were rejected. Yeah, that seems awful. So what if it looks like anything wrong can and is happening? So what? Do you not see it? Moments like these are your chances to show the enemy up and say, "so what? I am the righteousness of God. I have all I need to overcome everything because all I need is my Father. I don't know how or when, but I know who and He's got my back no matter what. No matter how long it takes, He's got me. No matter how ratchet I am, my Father is getting all the glory. I will not disgrace him in my speech, actions, or thoughts. He deserves the best out from me because he is the best of me."
I didn't tell you that the issue was going to go away, I only said that this is now your chance to show the enemy up. It starts with one action, one sentence, and one thought. Integrity must be beyond feelings, obligations, and the perspective of others. Suck it up and choose to show the world whos you are.
I told you, it as a savage conversation: blunt, honest, and no sugar coating.
Until next time…