Could it be that our lives are just a little taste of what Job endured?
I made a list of things that happened to me over the last 28 years working with AFM to find parallels between my life and Job’s.
No one’s life has the same problems, but sometimes, it can feel like it.
Job experienced sickness and recovered. I experienced many sicknesses in the mission field — amoebic dysentery and dengue fever among them — and the Lord healed me, fully restoring my strength.
Like Job, my children were hurt in the mission field — one bitten by a monkey, another crashing on a motorcycle, and so many other things that left permanent scars. However, God has His way of bringing healing. I dislocated my shoulder in the same motorcycle wreck where my daughter got a little charcoal ‘tattoo’ on her nose. She is beautiful despite that blemish, and my shoulder works as it should.
I encountered a swarm of bees that embedded my face and neck with their little stingers, yet I praised the Lord for keeping me from anaphylactic shock.
I seriously injured my neck while working in Mondulkiri, Cambodia. While it still challenges me, it reminds me to be cautious of my surroundings, a practice that may have saved me from many injuries even more severe.
Like Job, I, too, became involved in a spiritual battle with a close local friend while I lived abroad, with him making false accusations against me as Job’s friends did against him. It was good to learn that he has since recanted, and my name was cleared; even better to experience how God brought me peace through the process.
Despite losing friends through death or disagreement about my choice to work abroad, God has multiplied my friends through missions, including each of you reading these articles and supporting Diane and me.
And the loss of family members while employed by AFM makes me long more for the sweet reunion we will have at Jesus’ very soon coming!
Through the years, we have lived in less than healthy conditions at times — the last 10 years in rented places around the world, including living in a van — yet God has kept us healthy and provided a place of refuge. Our faithful God restored Job’s possessions to him and now has given Diane and me a home paid for when we had no money to buy it!
Even though, as a missionary, I have tasted Job’s struggles, I have seen lives changed for the better, and my life in Jesus has been full. God has always directed Diane and me in the past, and I trust He will direct us in the future. Like Job, I want to say that no matter what happens, I choose to follow Jesus and have Him as the guiding light of my life.
Do you see the parallels between your life and Job’s? Remember, on the other side of Job’s trials were blessings.