Think On This
Rising Above Our Burdens Rising Above Our Burdens Rising Above Our Burdens Rising Above Our Burdens
Job 22:21-30
  1. Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
  2. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.
  3. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
  4. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.
  5. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.
  6. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
  7. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
  8. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
  9. When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
  10. He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.

The first of this chapter is Eliphaz, one of Job's 3 friends who came to visit him for encouragement, now accusing Job and rebuking him for sin he thought Job had committed. Though wrongfully accusing Job, the words of Eliphaz's counsel seen in the above verses is God's Word and does not violate His teaching in any other scripture nor is it refuted by Job or God as being unwise in the instruction of His wisdom when it is applicable (all scripture is... profitable...2Ti.3:16). It is astounding advice and every bit true. I find it to be one of the best summations of Biblical teaching for the healthy state of man, in both his natural and spiritual life, following close to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and His teachings on discipleship and prayer.

Consider as well Jesus' own words found in Matthew 6:25-34 and Matthew 10:29-32.

"...know that your Heavenly Father watches over you, seeing to your every need...if only you will acquaint yourself with him...and lay up his words in thine heart..."

Just before Christmas while riding south down the Pacific coast, just north of Ventura, I had the opportunity to stop at a small popular State Park along the seashore just to the side of California Highway 101. Because of its convenience and scenic view, it is a stop I enjoy making when traveling that way. I am never disappointed with the view and bustle of life among other visitors: campers, surfers, etc. along the park road. These are what I like to call "life moments"—moments when all the senses bring to both body and soul a richness of life and keen recognition of God present in every small detail of His creation, even in its vastness. I was immersed in the enjoyment of this moment God had given me, reflecting on Him and His Glory, my heart full of awe, wonder, gratitude and praise.

While standing there on the large rocks protecting the road's embankment from erosion, just a few feet from the water's edge down below me, taking in the sights, smells and sounds on that beautiful sunny California winter day: children laughing and playing in the surf, the ocean mist mixed with the aromas of the seas and nearby campers cooking over an open grill, the surf gently lapping at the beach's edge, a few seagulls light at my feet. As they began to walk around in search for a morsel of food, probably expecting me to feed them something, at first I didn't notice that one wasn't as active in its search as the others. Soon they became disappointed that I had nothing to give them and began to extend their search, walking farther away from me up the shoreline, leaving one to limp slowly along where they had lighted in front of me just a few moments earlier.

Taking note of this remaining one, I saw that it had a barnacle, or some kind of growth, attached to its left leg just above its foot that seemed to cause it great pain or difficulty when both standing or walking on it. While the others were now far away, this poor creature, normal and healthy looking in every other way, was hesitant to depart—to walk to join the others. My heart broke for it. I had nothing to give it, nothing I could do for it, so, I whispered a small prayer for the Father's providential care for it. Just as I did, the others, now some distance away, took flight. As they did, all of a sudden this one that limped along with pain and difficulty, gracefully spread its wings and lifted into the gentle coastal breeze, soaring high above me as it rejoined the others and all alighting forty to fifty yards up the beach where someone did have food for them all, including this unfortunate one.

As you can imagine, many thoughts and God's Words came to me in that moment, thoughts and Words about how He is so faithful to care for all His creatures, even this poor little one who came for a moment into my life for renewal of this wonderful lesson to me—one who was burdened and could barely walk but had wings to fly. Its pain was only for the brief moments while light, here upon the ground, but, likely, non-existent while soaring high above, in the air.

And so it is with our lives. Our pain and suffering is but for a brief moment, the moment while light here, upon the earth, still in it but no longer of nor bound in spirit by it. The time will come when we all will take flight, diseased and healthy, soaring together, unfettered by the burdens, cares, and heartaches that now seem to capture us and set us apart. Until then, know that your Heavenly Father watches over you, seeing to your every need, aware of your pain. He will not fail. And remember this, no pain can keep the spirit within you from soaring high above this painful passing moment on earth, in flight with Him as He lifts you gently upon His wings to carry you through it, to allow you to light where all will be well, along the shore by the waters that flow from His throne for our healing (Rev 22:1-3).

God has given to most of us feet but to all of us wings. Since infancy we have discovered our feet and that in life they fail us. Let us discover our wings that will lift us when those times come. Begin now to...

"Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee...For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God..."

Go ahead. Spread your wings. You have them. Speak your heart to Him in prayer. You can do it. He is listening and waiting to make or renew your acquaintance. Feel Him lift you by His gentle breeze that blows upon you, lifting you as you soar high into His presence, taking you from the storm clouds that for this moment surround you (Deu.32-11-14; John 6:16-21). He will meet your need as promised. He will bring you peace as promised. He will gently set you down in green pastures beside His still waters, restoring your soul (Ps.23).

"...lift up thy face unto God..." And in so doing, you will rise above your present burdens.

- Author: Ken Livingston

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