After recently reading Job (for the umpteenth time), I had an epiphany. First, let me say that--to me--the story of Job is like an ill-begotten sandwich on yummy stone-baked artisan bread. I mean, it starts and ends well, but there's a LOT of bologna in the middle--it's hard to swallow! But this time was a little different for me. Each day I found myself carrying a part of the saga around in my heart, slipping my feet into the shoes of each character. I was Job...I was his tired and worn-out wife...I was his arrogant, self-righteous, well-meaning, but misguided friends. I was even God.
Then I had an epiphany--in the usual place...the shower. My thoughts traveled, as they do when you're just standing there scrubbing your scalp, and it hit me: when we give our lives over to Jesus we no longer have the right to ask "What did I do to deserve..." (fill in the blank); be it good things or bad things.
With Jesus at the helm of our lives we are "dispatched" to whatever and wherever He calls us just like a missionaries or military personnel. The "higher power" tells them where they are to go, be it the dry and barren deserts of Saudi Arabia, or the plush and lavish islands of Hawaii. It's HIS call over our lives, not ours; and we have very little to do with it.
Now of course, the caveat is that we can certainly make good and bad decisions and we bear the results of those. But when we find ourselves as Job did, or somewhere in the spectrum of highs and lows that Paul describes, in places we never "did anything to deserve," we look to our Master and say, "not my will but Yours be done, gracious Father...You know best" and then do our darnedest to obey without complaining and in full trust, recklessly abandoned to Him (as our friend Oswald Chambers loves to remind us).