Seemingly at the speed of light, we race through our days to accomplish more than we should attempt in a 24-hour period. In our rush, we miss details, perform at half-capacity, lose sleep, and wear down our bodies. In our do-it-all mindset, we deceive ourselves, thinking we are self-sufficient machines equipped to keep going in our own power.
The consequences of this behavior are detrimental, and can include failure, sickness, loss, and more. Think of a race car—rounding the turns at high speeds, vying for position around the track, pushing the mechanical ability of the engine. The driver must make a pit stop so the mechanics can change tires, replace fluids, and tweak the operation of the systems. Once the wrongs are righted, the race car then returns to the track, ready for peak performance.
There is a story in the Bible of a prosperous man who was upright and trusted God. Yet, Satan was allowed to take everything from this man except his life. Satan destroyed this man’s family, finances, and health. Job is the man’s name. In the midst of experiencing such tremendous loss, Job cursed the day he was born, lost hope, and fell into a pit of despair, self-pity and self-righteousness.
The Book of Job contains the discourse of Job and his three friends, attempting to understand Job’s sufferings. In Chapter 31, Job makes his final appeal, justifying himself rather than God. Elihu, a wise young man who had witnessed the discussion of Job and his friends, rebuked all four of them. Elihu argued that God is greater than all men, just, and merciful; and that God restores the repentant to righteousness when they pray. In Job 33:28-30, Elihu said:
He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light. Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life.
Job was beat up from the ploys of the enemy during his race in life. He made a “pit” stop, and needed help, correction, redemption and restoration. His three friends rallied around him, but led him into more confusion and darkness. The wise young man, Elihu, led him in truth, encouraging Job to pray to God in repentance. God, in His mercy, would redeem Job from the pit and give him the light of life. And He did. God restored Job in every way.
Jesus warned we would have trouble in this world. But He encouraged us to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world. Jesus is the Light of the world and provides the light of life. In John 10:10, He said the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but He came so we could have an abundant life. Peter said the enemy is like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. And Paul wrote in Romans that Jesus redeems and justifies those who believe upon Him.
The race of life can affect us negatively. The enemy is real and will attempt to bring us harm. Like Job, we may fall into a pit of dark despair. But we don’t have to stay there. Let’s pray to God, seek Him, repent of our sin, keep our eyes on Jesus, and give God the glory He alone is due. May God redeem your life from the pit, shine the light of life upon you, and fully equip you as you continue to run your race!
Holding Fast to Hope,