Jason Dahlman
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A prayer request:


As you know, our VBS program is cancelled this summer. Let’s be in prayer for all the young people in our church and in our community who normally would have participated in that ministry. Our young people are missing out on a lot of the normal joys and blessings of the spring and summer season this year. But let’s pray that God will use this unusual time to grow our children's faith and to bear fruit in their lives that will last a lifetime.


A devotional thought:


“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.” Job 14:1-2


I’ve got Job on my mind this morning. By some accounts, Job is the oldest book of the Bible. And yet, after thousands of years of human progress, we’re still debating the same things that Job and his friends were.


Both Job and his friends agreed that our days are short and full of trouble. But they couldn’t seem to agree on why that’s the case and what role God has in all of that. Job’s friends thought that Job must have done something wrong and therefore Job’s suffering must therefore be divine punishment for wrongdoing. Job was convinced that he hadn’t done anything wrong and therefore his suffering was undeserved and unjust.


It seems to me that both sides were viewing the situation just a little too black and white. Life’s questions are more complex and interesting than the black and white answers that we sometimes give. 


According to Job and his friends, he was either a bad man suffering justly for his sins or a good man suffering unjustly. But are those the only two options? It seems to me that Job was in fact a righteous man who loved and worshipped God but at the same time he was a flawed man who fell short of God’s standard. In other words, Job wasn’t a finished product upon whom God was now pronouncing judgement. Job was in process. 


And God was able to use Job’s circumstances not as a final judgement on his character but as a way to shape his character. So instead of asking, “What did Job do to deserve this?” maybe they should have been asking, “How is God using this to shape Job into the man that He has created and called Job to be?” Had they asked that question, they might have avoided the argument, and Job would have been a shorter book!


Perhaps we could ask ourselves the same question. Rather than asking, “What have I done to deserve this?” maybe we should ask “How is God going to use this to shape me into the person that He has created and called me to be?” By simply asking a different question we might reshape our whole experience of a difficult situation. 


Regardless of what circumstances you face today, I pray that the Lord will use them to shape you into the person He wants you to be. And I pray that when you and I lay our heads down tonight, we’ll look just a little bit more like Jesus than we did when we woke up.


Be blessed.

Pastor Jason