Comfort in Dust and Ashes…by Zack Fugate
“I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear and I will speak; I will question you, and you will make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”-Job 42:2-6
One does not have to look far and wide in our world to find brokenness. TV stations, news sources, websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook timelines, TikTok vines, and Snap Chat posts are filling attentive ears, minds, and hearts with stories of anger, broken promises, hatred, guilt, body-shaming, body-glorifying, self-edification and worship, half-truths, outright lies, politics, and many many other forms of distractions. How much time, brothers and sisters, are we dedicating to being in the Word? Amongst the distractions, are we pursuing a close relationship with the Holy Spirit and the only truth that has fundamental and eternal impact?
In the above text, Job was finally broken. He was surrounded by the deafening sounds of distraction from the Lord, yet he was broken by the constant calling of God. His friends had deceived him and presented God in false light, and his wife even had gone so far as to tell Job to curse God and die for the sufferings he had endured. But throughout all of Job’s experiences, there was a still soft voice (though loud in some instances throughout the book of Job) that Job could not and did not lose, and his earnest desire to appear before God and remain faithful exemplified the steadfastness and comfort that Job had received from a deep relationship he had formed with God. The term ‘repent’ above is more accurately translated as ‘am comforted’. As such, you may instead read the last sentence as, “…therefore, I despise myself, and am comforted in dust and ashes.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, there are two types of broken. We can be broken for the world, or we can be broken for Christ. We can sit and share our opinions of the Coronavirus, politics, racism, wearing masks or not wearing masks, eating at a restaurant or dining in…but the only thing that truly matters is Christ and our relationship with him. Please do not be rash and assume that I am saying those things are of zero substance, but understand that I am charging myself as well as each of you to chase after Christ and Christ alone! Instead of being broken and resembling a people without hope, we must be proclaiming the hope we have in Christ boldly. For if we are not doing so, we resemble those that surrounded Job and presented a false image of God. We are God’s people, and we must be broken for him and find comfort in the dust and ashes!
Your brother in Christ, Zack Fugate