Truthfully, I’m not a theologian and I still feel like I lack any authority when I talk about God. I wasn’t really raised with God, I pray differently than a lot of people, and I never feel like what I’m saying is in the correct posture. But I love talking about God and the questions people tend to turn away from. If I’m being honest, any chance to dig into the psychology, neurology, or philosophy of big questions makes me really excited.
So I thought, what if I share my insight here instead of just over at the Kolbe B Clare instagram? The project started on a whim. I wanted a place where I could talk about God but on my main accounts, no one cared much for faith or theology. And I so desperately wanted to build a community of God focused where God was the center of it all. I wanted people to talk about God with, except the issue–I really feel like a big ol’ hack anytime I say anything close to theological.
Which is a massive issue for the girl whose biggest goal is to be a doctor of the church. (Really lofty ambitious goals over here.) The issue is I don’t see God in the way that influencer christians see God, or at least not most of them. And I don’t always want to sing praises to how great God is, because that’s no one’s real 100% of the time posture. Even the greatest saints didn’t always approach God that way–most actually rarely approached God that way.
So I sit here and I try to start conversations and truthfully, instagram isn’t the right forum for it. I try to jot down ideas for topics and I end up going into a long form ramble and when I condense it, I don’t think I’m doing the topic justice. And today my topic feels extra lofty.
Originally I wanted to talk about how the Devil hits like a bitch, a phrase I adopted a few years ago, although not original to me. And how this season of my life, I feel like I’m in a boxing match with the Satan himself. Currently, I’m studying Job as part of a devotional series I’m writing, which is causing me to know unjust suffering very intimately. And while this topic is hard and uncomfortable, I find myself at peace as I read Job’s story for the 11th time. Weird take on Job right?
But the thing with Job that’s usually uncomfortable, God ignoring his innocence, becomes peaceful somewhere around the 9th read. Because Job pretty much cussed God out in most the chapters, going back and forth between his innocence and how God must be punishing him. Job cursed at God, but didn’t curse God. At the end of Job’s anger, God says “Job has honored me.” We tend to miss that part of the story.
The first few times you read Job, you probably think innocent guy who is angry at God and defending his innocence to his friends. But you miss the bulk of the chapters where Job isn’t speaking well of God.
For the arrows of the Almighty are in me,
and my spirit drinks in their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.Job 6:4
Even that God would decide to crush me,
that he would put forth his hand and cut me off!Job 6:9
These ten times you have humiliated me,
have assailed me without shame!
Even if it were true that I am at fault,
my fault would remain with me;Job 19:3-4
Throughout the book, Job is lamenting about how God is destroying him and how horrible God is. And God says Job has honored him.
And that’s what I wanted to dive into here, how through our suffering and lament, we are honoring God. But then the Lord asked me to consider Mary in John 12. Mary, whose brother had just rose from the dead and in her gratitude, she took the most valuable thing she had and poured it on Jesus anointing him.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”John 12 1:8
There’s a few different commentaries around this passage, mostly talking about how important it is that Mary anointed Jesus to set the stage for what is to come. While others mention how Jesus receives Mary’s gift as a selfless act of love and devotion.
But right now I’m sitting here feeling like a God given promise is 4 years too late. 4 days is nothing, I’m asking God for a restoration for something that’s been pretty much dead for 4 years. And I’m sitting here as a scammer faked a job in an attempt to get my bank information. And as I got over 10 job rejections in the past 3 days. And as I was denied a job for being too ambitious, another because I was found to be too attractive, and another because I was too likable, and another because the envy the founders had towards me. I’m sitting here reflecting on how life hasn’t been great for the past 4 years. Seemingly nothing has gone right and I don’t understand how I can feel like Job and God asks me to remember Mary.
“But what if God did the actual thing you’ve wanted? How are you going to respond?” The voice in me murmurs and I break into tears. Honestly ugly cry, messy, no amount of tissues can save this vibe right now.
Truthfully, if God gave me my answered prayer, even seemingly 4 years too late. I’m not sure what I wouldn’t do. Realistically, I’d do everything I feel the Holy Spirit calling me to without fear. There would be nothing that wouldn’t be an act of devotion to God.
Mary, spilled out the most important thing she had as an act of gratitude and devotion. Jesus was always the Messiah to her, but in that moment Jesus was Jehovah Rapha–God who Heals. What wouldn’t she have given him? Mary knew that Jesus was capable, but she also knew God had a grander plan for everything. Yet on day 4, by all Jewish standards, the miracle was deemed impossible. Imagine this from her perspective. She knew with her whole heart that Jesus could heal but when he didn’t come, she attempted to make peace with it even in her grieving. When it was deemed impossible, even by God standards, we have to imagine her heart broke and she was filled with a mixture of mourning and rage. But then it happened. The impossible standing in front of her, her greatest miracle. If we were her, what would we give up to Christ automatically as an act of gratitude?
For her, she took the most expensive thing she owned, a perfume that was worth about 300 denarii, which is about $54,509 in U.S. dollars. And she poured that out to her Lord as a final act of, you are exactly who you say you are.
God met Mary in her disappointment. What about ours? What about right now where I’m still grieving a relationship that I can’t seem to fully let go of. A desire to switch my career into something I know is my vocation, but I find myself having to return to an industry I hate, that also has no desire to hire me. I don’t see how God is going to work in this. But my dudes, if God restores the love and I get my dream job, you know I’d be screaming it from the rooftops.