My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5
If you really want to get to know someone, travel with them. You’ll discover their raw essence-and yours, for better or worse. You may be relieved by your travel mate’s ability to adapt in stressful situations, or be amused to find a seemingly “go with the flow” personality becomes anything but, when the “flow” is a public toilet in rural Asia. By public, I mean plein air, and by toilet, I mean ditch. We may think we know someone, but the truth is, we won’t really know them until we’ve traveled hard times together.
This is true of our relationship with the Lord. Job, the poster-child for “Life is Bad and Then We Die”, traveled the terrain of humiliation, loss, grief and pain beyond imagination- I mean, really- boils? Was that necessary? I imagine the outbreak came right after Job looked around at the dung heap his life had become and said something like, “Well…at least I still have nice skin.”
In the end, the story of Job plays like a country song, “ …Got the wife back, the kids back, and the critters, too…” But more than the return of all his earthly rewards was this: Knowledge of the Holy One.
Do you want to know Christ- really know Him? The good news is, this is God’s will for you. The bad news is, it comes through suffering, the Great News is, the intimacy found in the fellowship of suffering with Christ surpasses pain. Not many of us will suffer as Job did, thankfully, but with the sufferings we are given, will we allow the Lord to make Himself known to us, teaching us to say, “I knew of You, I knew about You, but now I know You”?
When traveling, it’s so comforting to travel with someone familiar with the territory, someone who won’t “ditch” you. Jesus has traveled all regions of suffering, and He who traveled before us, travels with us.