by: Steven Heidenreich
Have you ever tried to do right and then face one the greatest trials of your life. One summer my wife, two daughters and I worked in the cornfields detasseling corn so we could help pay for our children’s school bill in the fall. There were a lot of teenagers from our church with whom our family worked in the cornfields. We worked anywhere from 10 to 15 hours in the hot sun. By the time you got home, you were so exhausted that all you wanted to do was eat and sleep so you could face the next day. Some of the teenagers with whom I was working with on a Wednesday asked me if I was going to church that night. I told him that we always go to church on Wednesday night. I got home that Wednesday night cleaned up and started for church. As I was traveling down the street, I saw a man walk across the street and go in between two cars. As I began to pass by where he went in, all of a sudden he ran back out. I swerved to the left to keep from hitting him. I did my best to avoid him, but he ran into the side of the car and he was seriously injured. He was drunk and had dropped a cigarette lighter and ran back to get it. I was terribly terrified and could not believe how this could happen to me on my way to church. Here I was trying to do right by setting an example for the young people and because of it I went through this great trial.
Later on trying to understand the what and the why of what I had just gone through, God used Job chapter 23 to teach me an invaluable lesson.
First of all, God pointed out verse 14. That night he was performing the thing that was appointed for me. There are times and places God has prepared for us to meet with Him so that He can strengthen us so that we can come forth as gold. To be truthful with you, this is one of the appointments I wish I could have skipped. Little did I know that this was just one of the many appointments He had for me in my life.
Secondly, He told me that night that even though I cannot see Him, He’s there. Verses 8-10 say, “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
After getting out of the car and running over to check on the man, I saw that he was seriously injured. I cried out to God, “Where are you? Can’t you see I’m on deputation trying to go to the Philippines to reach those people for You? How could you let this happen?” There will be times when you cannot see Him and you don’t know where He is, but He’s there watching over you. As I looked up, the first person who was rushing to the scene of the accident was an off-duty paramedic. As I turned around, a lady came up and she was an off-duty nurse on her way to church.
Thirdly, the Word of God is what strengthens us and comforts us in our time of need. I could’ve never made it through that night without God showing me Job 23. Now for over 30 years I have depended upon God’s Word to strengthen and comfort me during the times of His appointments.
These appointments will come in your life, and He will be near you when He seems so far away. His Word will strengthen and comfort you if you will run to It in your time of appointments. Yes, you will come forth as gold.
Dr. Steve Heidenreich