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by Winnie Kaetzel  
8/04/2013 / Devotionals

While reading my devotions this morning I was struck by Job's vacillation between fervency in his faith and his feelings of futility when he considered his health and loss of family and possessions.

Each comforter orated, some circuitously, others emphatically, their assurance that Job had sinned and his present suffering was well-deserved. "All he had to do was confess his wrong actions to the Almighty," they insisted, "and his health and fortunes would be miraculously restored."

Hearing these repeated proclamations, Job resolved to defend himself. With adamant confidence in his God, even in the midst of his pain (19th chapter), he pleaded for mercy, "It is God who has afflicted me," he insisted, "and YET, I know that my Redeemer lives and in the end He will stand on the earth. After I die, I WILL SEE GOD! I will see Him with my own eyes. Oh, how my heart yearns for that day."

My own ten-year battle with depression ended partly when I recognized this same truth. Carrying two heavy bags of produce home from the morning market while traffic whizzed by, I desperately tried to discipline my mind to memorize these same comforting words that gave Job the will to go on living.

I too, had fallen in the midst of the fray. I loved the work I was doing, but the urgency of individual situations and my inability to rescue those I'd come to help overwhelmed me. I became listless and despondent to the point of shirking my duties. My husband didn't know what to do with me. He couldn't understand my sudden reluctance to be involved. He suggested a time away from the frantic front. I didn't want to go; didn't want to miss out on the action, yet, was unable to cope with the intensity of the fight. Like Job, I too, vacillated between futility and reality.

In hindsight, I should have petitioned my God for strength to understand what He wanted to do in me and grace to endure. I should have recognized who it really was that I served. Sadly, I chickened outleft the challenge I'd been called to do. I sought refuge my own way which ultimately delayed my recovery. Several years later I finally declared with Job that "my Redeemer lives and I KNOW I will see Him with my own eyes," thus beginning the long haul back to joy in the One who loves me so very much.

Bending With the Bamboo, is the memoir of Winnie's life in Laos during the Vietnam War. Following Lao people from their mountain villages to the crowded Thai refugee camps, and on to resettlement in America, the Kaetzels ministered all the way.

Copyright 2011 Winnie Kaetzel

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