February 15
Staying with the pain
For reading & meditation: Job 13:13-19
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him '" (v.15, NKJ)

We ended yesterday with the thought that the moments after we have been saved from slipping and sliding, but are left with our main problem still unresolved, are exceedingly critical. Why critical? Because, as we said, the desire to relieve the pain that is going on inside us can sometimes lead us to settle for answers that are less than the best. We feel better when we can make sense of the ways of God - even a little sense. When we are confronted by a spiritual problem that appears to have no immediate resolution and causes strong emotions to rage within us, there are, as far as I can see, just two options: either to live with the troublesome emotions, as Job did, and wait patiently for God to give a clear answer, in His time; or to replace the confusion with some form of understanding. The first option is often difficult, for it demands something which, especially when we are confused, we find hard to do - trust. The second is a lot easier, but potentially more dangerous, for unless we are careful, it can lead us into accepting solutions that are not solutions. The pressure to move confidently in the midst of ambiguity and uncertainty and come up with "clear" answers is a strong one. But we must be careful that we dont settle for an answer that, although it helps to reduce the level of confusion, is not a real solution. Better to stay with the pain of confusion and uncertainty than to grasp at answers that are not answers because they evade the real problem.

O Father, help me as I think through this issue. I sense there is something here that I need to learn, but I need Your love and wisdom and insight to support me as I learn it. Come close to me - particularly over these next few days. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What are we to do?
2. What are we not to do?