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Mine eyes- Dead electricians: a blog by Daniel Jones

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“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God, I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” –Job 19: 25-27 When I was interning with Fort Wayne’s School of Urban Ministry, I met a man who was introduced to me by an inner-city pastor. The man was an electrician, and he told me of how many parallels he could see between the power of God and the power of electricity. He explained that whenever electricians work in a dangerous setting, they have to be extremely careful. He told of electricians who had the hairs on the back of their neck stand up because they realized just how serious and dangerous their line of work is. It was the ones who got used to it that were killed, he said. Ironically, the electricians that were killed were most often quite experienced! They just had become too comfortable, and failed to give the situation the proper time and attention. The story struck a chord in me because I think that so often we are in just the same spot as all of those dead electricians. Sure, we don’t ever mean to disrespect God. We know He is our Creator; it’s just too easy to slip into complacence. It’s so natural to just relax. The problem gets more complex when we feel we have reason to be frank with God. If we think we are owed something because of our hardships and difficulties, our natural inclination is often to question God’s nature. This is exactly the spot that Job found himself in. Even though he had at one point exclaimed, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” it was really easy to forget. After all, if anyone had a right to complain, it was Job. He’d lost his riches, his family, and even his own health. Yeah, he was upset, but who wouldn’t be? Who can blame him? He cried out in his suffering, wrestling with how God could allow such tough circumstances. God did answer Job. But He did not comfort him and tell him “sorry.” He did not explain his plan to him. Instead, he asked a few questions of his own. In Job 38, God says, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” The Lord went on to ask Job many more questions, all of which pointed Job to the fact that he was man, and the Lord is God.  In the end, Job wisely tells God, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”  He repented in dust and ashes. He ended with the perfect response- absolute humility. Moses faced a similar problem when the Lord told him he was not coming with the Israelites to the Promised Land. Moses interceded for the rebellious nation, and said, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” Here in Exodus 33, Moses realized that everything depended on God. Without God, the Israelites had nothing. In effect, he said “We don’t want to go anywhere without you.” Humility. Reverence. Similarly, once when Jesus was preaching, the disciples faced the same problem. Many disciples were leaving Jesus because of His teaching. Jesus then asked the Twelve, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter replied correctly, saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” Peter’s response was essentially the same as Moses’. In effect, he said, “We don’t want to go anywhere without you.” Humility. Reverence. Trust. These three words need to describe perfectly our walk with Christ. In our culture it is easy to view Jesus as our friend, and He certainly is our friend. But with that friendship we need to understand what our place is in reference to the Creator of the  universe. It is not our place to tell God what to do or when to do it. Without Him, we are nothing. We have to make every effort to realize and respect that God’s ways our infinitely more wise and informed than ours. Like the electricity, let’s not get too comfortable with God. He will reveal Himself in His own time and work in his own mysterious way.
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