Not a Stoic

A few days after my recent complicated migraine, I continued to reflect on what I had learned. I accepted that God had put me in a position that seemed limiting to me, but I also recognized He was working good in it, whether I could see the good or not. The Holy Spirit brought truth to my mind, encouraging me to endure. However, even though my mind was focused on what I knew to be true, my heart broke one evening.

The tears started to fall as I reflected on all I had lost: a pain-free existence, ability to leave my house without becoming sick, independence with my personal care and household responsibilities, and face-to-face fellowship with godly friends. It seemed that most activities, big and small, had become so complicated that I was choosing not to participate in them to avoid causing others difficulty as well. This isolation served to magnify my grief. Was I sinning by pouring out my grief in the form of tears rolling down my cheeks in gushing rivers?

Here is the benefit of regular Bible study! In my research for my upcoming workbook, I had studied the book of Job. In His perfect timing, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I learned in my study. Job lost much and grieved these losses; “…he tore his robe and shaved his head…” (Job 1:20). However, “through all this Job did not sin…” (Job 1:22, emphasis added).

All block quotes are from “Job’s Resignation” Charles Spurgeon sermon on Job 1:20-22

A man of God is not expected to be a stoic. The grace of God takes away the heart of stone out of his flesh, but it does not turn his heart into a stone. The Lord’s children are the subjects of tender feelings—when they have to endure the rod, they feel the smart of its strokes—and Job felt the blows that fell upon him. Do not blame yourself if you are conscious of pain and grief, and do not ask to be made hard and callous. That is not the method by which grace works—it makes us strong to bear trials, but we have to bear them! It gives us patience and submission, not stoicism. We feel and we benefit by the feeling—and there is no sin in the feeling—for in our text we are expressly told of the patriarch’s mourning, “In all this Job sinned not.”

While Job’s example served to encourage me, a more perfect role model came to mind: Jesus. Our Savior wept over the hardness of people’s hearts and the death of Lazarus; He wept over sin and the fact that humanity was still under the curse of death. He was not weeping in rebellion against His Father’s plan. Similarly, when Job grieved, he did not blame God (Job 1:22). In fact, as soon as his grief commenced, he worshipped God (Job 1:20-21).

I want you, however, to notice that mourning should always be sanctified with devotion… after the patriarch had fallen to the ground, he “worshipped.” Not, he grumbled. Not, he lamented—much less that he began to imprecate, and use language unjustifiable, and improper—but he, “fell to the ground and worshipped.” O dear friend, when your grief presses you to the very dust, worship there! If that spot has come to be your Gethsemane, then present, there, your “strong crying and tears” to your God! Remember David’s words, “You people, pour out your hearts”—but do not stop there, finish the quotation—“You people, pour out your hearts before Him.” Turn the vessel upside down! It is a good thing to empty it, for this grief may ferment into something more sour. Turn the vessel upside down, and let every drop run out—but let it be before the Lord. “You people, pour out your hearts before Him: God is a refuge for us.”

God desires that we come to Him with our troubles (Matthew 11:28-30). He knows that we go through dark valleys (Psalm 23:4). He hears our cries (Psalm 116:1-2). He is our “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). I will pour out my heart of tears to my Father with thanks for His understanding and comfort… I will worship my Rescuer.

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.
Psalm 50:15

5 thoughts on “Not a Stoic

  1. I’m thankful to God for this post! What a coincidence that I’m carrying in my purse Spurgeon’s devotional Faith’s Checkbook! I too can not handle much going out except to my drs appointments and I can relate to the grief and loss in the isolation. What an amazing thing that we have found each others blogs! God bless you and I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “… God had put me in a position that seemed limiting to me, but I also recognized He was working good in it, whether I could see the good or not. The Holy Spirit brought truth to my mind, encouraging me to endure.”

    This is a fine quote, Kim and this reminds me of a quote that my Bishop said in his sermon this past Sunday and this reminded me of it.

    Also, I wanted to take this time and thank you for following my blog. I just pray that something is said on my blog that impacts, uplifts, encourages, and inspires you to live your life for Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for blogging for the reason that I do as well. The body of Christ building each part up is such a wonderful part of God’s plan (Ephesians 4:12).

      Like

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