Today the Bible opened to Job chapter 14. And at first, I thought wow, God is really smacking me in the head on the same point as the last two days. Job said:
But when a man dies, all vigor leaves him; when a mortal expires, where then is he?
But then I reread the verses before and after these words and I saw God’s plan in Job’s words:
For a tree there is hope;
if it is cut down, it will sprout again,
its tender shoots will not cease.
Even though its root grow old in the earth
and its stump die in the dust,
Yet at the first whiff of water it sprouts
and puts forth branches like a young plant.
Job distinguishes us from the tree, stating that when man dies all vigor leaves him, but I think God is reminding us that we are like the tree. We can be cut down, but we can sprout again. We grow old and even die, but all we need is a whiff of water. Of course that water is the living water that Jesus tells us about in John chapter 4. Water that will cause us to never thirst, water that will lead to eternal life.
Job appears to lament to God that man has such a short time on earth, God should take pity on him. He almost seems to chastise God saying He takes away the hope of mortals. (I picture God laughing a bit at Job here, with a knowing sympathetic smile that says “just wait and see.”) Job states:
If a man were to die, and live again, all the days of my drudgery I would wait for my relief to come. You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands. Surely then you would count my steps, and not keep watch for sin in me. My misdeeds would be sealed up in a pouch, and you would cover over my guilt.
We have the benefit of knowing what comes next. Knowing that Jesus comes with the offer of living water and the promise of life after death. But even knowing this, do we still say if only I knew there was life after death, I would wait and be patient through the sometimes drudgery of life on earth. Even knowing this, do we still say If I knew, I would answer God when He calls? Its been thousands of years and we have so much more information and “wisdom” than Job (or we certainly like to think we do), but it seems we are sometimes just as clueless. And I hope that God is looking down at us with the same knowing sympathetic smile, saying silly kids, how much simpler can I make it.
God, I thirst for your living water. I know that just a whiff of it can cause me to sprout when I feel cut down by the world. My hope is in you. Help me to answer your call.