My 20-month-old is obsessed with ceilings right now. He’s all, “See?! See?!” while pointing to the ceiling. He looks at it in awe. He wants us to lift him up as high as we can so he can feel the thrill of being near the ceiling.
This morning I tried to interest him in the floor. “Floors are good.” I said. “We can walk on floors. We can play with friends on floors. Ceilings are overrated. Look at the floor! It’s SO COOL!”
“See?! See?!” He points up, refusing to look at the floor. Grinning. My arms are killing me. I can’t lift him one more time or I’ll keel over and die.
Then it struck me. Sometimes we can be like that when we are trying to help people. Job’s helpers were like that. There Job sat, a crumpled mess, riddled with pain in his heart and in his body, and his helpers wanted to “help” him look up.
“Look up, Job! See the ceiling! Quit groveling on the ground. Look up! You’ve obviously done something pretty bad, Job, to get yourself mired in such a pit. See?! Why can’t you see?! WE do! Three against one, Job. We win! We know! We are the spiritual ones! We’ve got SCRIPTURE on our side, by George!”
Oh, I think they loved themselves. They thought quite highly of themselves. They lifted their lofty eyes to the…ceiling.
And this is what God said to those spiritually minded guys:
“After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” Job 42:7
I think when this life is over and it’s all said and done, there will be some surprises waiting for us.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:3-5
We wonder why God allows us to go through some of the horrible circumstances of our lives. He could so easily fix things, if He wanted to, and yet He chooses to give us life-long sorrows. But think about this. How can we help another human life if we have never been through the fires ourselves?
The most helpful help almost always comes from a veteran of the furnaces. They are the ones who get it. And if they are willing to be transparent, making themselves vulnerable, humbling themselves, stooping to squat next to Job and listen – then they will most surely be used by the Creator for great healing purpose in this world.
No life is wasted. No trial is poured out for nothing. No long night is endured forever.
Who cares about the ceiling anyway? Little boy of mine – there’s something far higher and more incredible than that ceiling. When summer comes again, we’ll go outside, and THEN we’ll look up. We’ll see a small part of the universe.
But if you want to get a glimpse of something REALLY high—you have to be flat on your face.