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Enlightened

We turned into a parking space at the same moment the deep voice finished speaking. Silence filled the car. I moved the gearshift to park and tried to process the weight of everything I had just listened to from my Bible app.

“Wow,” my son said from the backseat.

“Wow is right,” I answered.

I am not sure if the emotion that had just enveloped us resulted from the telling of the story by a formal and passionate British narrator or from the impact and weight of the book of Job itself. Maybe it was hearing the words boom through the car speakers instead of my headset. Maybe it was hearing it out loud versus reading the notated and highlighted pages of my worn Bible. Neither of us knew what had changed it or why. But in that moment, what we knew was no matter how many times we had read those very words before, this time, we heard it differently. We heard Job’s battle and longing in every single word. We felt his sorrow and his pain all the way to our core. We saw the story differently. We understood.

I thought about this throughout the day, trying to put my finger on what part had made the difference. I never found the answer to that question and finally realized I didn’t need to. It didn’t matter as much why or what had granted me a different perspective. What mattered was the fact that I had experienced the effect of a different perspective.

I heard the words more clearly. I gained more insight into what Job must have been going through. I caught a deeper glimpse of a soul struggling to understand and, within that glimpse, understood him better. That was the point.

Like the questions of “why” Job asks of God, there are many things in this life I will never understand. Things I will never comprehend because I am not God. I cannot see everything He can see, and I will never know all He knows. My mind and heart could never process it all. Even if I could, how responsible would I be with that kind of information? Where would my faith come from if I knew everything to come? No matter how much I desire insight into the things that bewilder me, knowing all God knows is not what I was created for.

But I was created for love. And that requires understanding. Not an all-knowing-I-run-the-universe kind of understanding, but an I-can-keep-going-because-we-are-in-this-together kind of understanding. A clarity that allows me to love myself and others better, even when I have no idea what is happening.

That kind of understanding requires a willingness to see things differently. A longing to find another way to view a situation. A desire to listen to an account told through a different voice. To even begin to understand myself and my situation, or someone else and their situation, I have to seek it. Job did not understand. But he sought understanding. He pleaded to see it differently. Even if God did not reveal it to him in that moment, he still was willing to hear the story.

Just like Job, the questions of “why” will never stop as long as we walk this earth. And like Job, trusting God in His wisdom, even when I feel blinded to tomorrow, is the ultimate act of faith and obedience. Faith does not mean we should not seek to understand the story. It means we believe God’s got this no matter which way the story goes.

We may never find the answer to the question why. But maybe we can realize we don’t need to have that answer to see a situation differently. To accept a different way other than our own exists. To accept God’s way. To seek God’s heart. To unite God’s people. To listen for God’s plan.

Even Job, knowing we serve a God that is inconceivable, thought it was worth a try. Who knows, maybe we will sit back, put the car in park, and say “wow”.

Father God, your ways are most certainly higher than mine. I cannot fathom the things you know and the plans you see. My heart desires to understand, to grasp all you are. My soul aches to understand both the good and the bad of this world and how to navigate it all for your glory. Even if in the smallest way, show me paths to understanding and compassion. Grant me the wisdom of another perspective outside of my own. Let me, if only for a moment, see the world and the humans as you see them.

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Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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Colossians 2:2-3 NIV

 

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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