“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” – Romans 2:4 (ESV)
During Christmas one time, we were shown a movie on the life of Jesus. I have forgotten the name. But I can still remember one incident very vividly. A girl in my group, who was a few years younger than me, began to cry. She asked the youth leader to please turn off the VCR. Apparently, the crucifixion of Christ was too gory for her to watch. She put her hands over her eyes, and began crying on floor, demanding the movie to be stopped. Her parents came and consoled her. And the rest of us finished the movie. At that time, I thought it was strange. Girls are weakhearted, reasoned my pre-adolescent mind. I even found it amusing. How sensitive, I thought. But now that I am an adult. I have realized, how we who are brought up in a Christian family, can get so desensitised with the crucifixion of Christ. We are so programmed to hear and be taught that Christ died for us – that sometimes it begins to lose its meaning. And perhaps, that is a very dangerous position to be in.
In the Book of Job, we find Job getting slowly withered out, argument after argument. And so, when we reach the end. He goes, all out on God – demanding a justification of why he was suffering without any of his fault. I am sure there might be profound theological or even sophisticated academic explanation of Job’s outburst. But I want to make just one simple observation. We are introduced to Job, in the beginning as a man who ‘fears’ God. And his life is marked by activities of great reverence towards God. But by the end, we find him in a bold tone – demanding justice from God. In other words, Job was so accustomed to his God, that when his troubled overwhelmed him – his fear of God got compromised. He lost his awe over the glory and the majestic of God.
YHWH’s reply to him is also interesting. (Job 38-41) When God responded, His response was not on Job’s queries or demands. To be exact, in YHWH’s response, Job was not even the subject. God rather reminds him, of His sovereign rule. And no. It is not because God did not understand Job. But because Job did not understand God. YHWH puts Job to his place by reminding him, His majestic. Job finally understood. His awe of God returned. And so, along with it, his fear and admiration.
“I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Rev 2:3-5, ESV)
When life is overwhelmed by trouble or even simply, by mundaneness, it is so easy to lose sight of God. It is so easy to lose our awe and admiration of God. It is so easy to forget about how faithful God has been towards us. It is so easy to forget about the reason why we first knelt to Him. It is so easy to forget that Christ alone is our satisfaction. It is so easy to get spiritually dull. And this is a very dangerous place to be in. Because dullness trifles the awe-inspiring majestic of God. And that steals, our fear and reverence from Him. But even if you find yourself stuck in such dull phase, I encourage you – God is wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient. Please do not take this for granted. But take advantage of it. And turn to God. I pray and hope that God will inspire our perception of Him (deeper) this season – reminding us of His profound love and grace.
Read previous entries in this Series:
(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory (xviii) December 17: Freedom & Joy Secured in Him (xix) December 18: Pass Me Not (xx) December 19: Overcoming the Power of Death (xxi) December 20: Salvation Unites Us (xxii) December 21: LOGOS