Bountiful Spirit - February 23, 2021
“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept way. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you. In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. You will be protected from the lash of the tongue and need not fear when destruction comes. You will laugh at destruction and famine and need not fear the wild animals. For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. “We have examined this, and it is true. So, hear it and apply it to yourself.”
Reflection by Nancy Sauer
In 2020 and into 2021 we continue to suffer from a global pandemic that has altered our very existence. Along with divisiveness throughout our country, racism, police brutality, distrust, and political intolerance we certainly, at some point, must have asked ourselves “where is God?”
This scriptural passage introduces us to Job, a good man, who suffers unimaginable loss. Just as Job suffered undeservedly, we too experience illness, pain, suffering and loss. In this life It is unavoidable and on numerous occasions we find ourselves asking “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Job’s relationship with God is being tested just as ours is during these uncertain and unpredictable times. Job does not reject God. Instead, he challenges Him and does not lose his faith. When we find ourselves in the depths of despair, do we reject God or do we turn to Him seeking a closer relationship? Do we trust God to help us through the bad as well as celebrate the good times? Do we pray for a stronger faith?
These forty days of Lent afford us an opportunity to nurture our relationship with God through prayer and meditation.