I've been reading through the book of Job, and what follows is my straight up opinion, no bible commentary stuff (so I might be totally wrong), but the thoughts have been rattling around my brain, so why not.
There are some really unique things happening in the book. In the story, God basically gives the devil permission to mess with Job, who God seems to have an awful lot of trust in. Also, God knows everything, so that helps.
Anyways, what really interested me so far wasn't Job's super awful day or any of the multitude of questions opened up with this God/Devil conversation. No, what really caught my attention was the reaction of Job and of his friends.
Once Job loses everything (and he gets all the news in like three minutes) he mourns, tears his clothes, sack cloth and ashes, the whole deal. Eventually, he meets up with his three buddies, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. The bible says that they sat in silence for seven days and nights before anyone talked. Awkward.
We finally hear from Job. He's upset, understandably. He wishes he was never born. He looks forward to his death.
Job and his friends see what happened to Job in completely different ways, and that contrast is what stuck out to me and really got me thinking. Through all of his lamenting life and his situation, he never backs down on the idea that he didn't do anything wrong, that he always honored God and loved his word, which was totally true.
His friends repeatedly and very harshly tell him that this is incorrect and that he is full of crap. The ESV has Job's friends calling his speech "windy" quite often (Job is full of hot air). Their fundamental view of the world, which, at the time, was understandable for them to cling to, was that if someone was suffering as miserably as Job, God must be angry with him. Why wouldn't they think this? Seems pretty standard Old Testament to me.
These guys will not listen to Job, no matter how he tries to make his case. They all call each other stupid. It's kind of ugly.
Here is what is so amazing about Job's view on the whole deal, to me, though. We know he doesn't sin through the whole thing and he doesn't ever curse God. I went into the story expecting this. What stuck out to me about Job this time, though, was that it wasn't JUST that he didn't curse God. His understanding of God was complete enough that he saw the situation like this: God is obviously in charge of everything. He made it all. He formed the Earth. He moves mountains like they are nothing. God can do whatever He wants, and it isn't always black and white.
This feels revelatory to me, and his friends had no ability to grasp it. God does what God wants because He is God. He didn't give Job an explanation, and Job realized that God didn't owe him one. Was he upset, and did he question? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, he knew that God is God and He does what He wants to do.
This is terrifying and awesome to me. Kind of freeing, too, though. How often to we look for every little meaning in every little thing? Maybe sometimes God is just God and we won't ever get the neat package with the bow on top that answers all of our loose ends and plot holes.
Maybe it's enough to know that God is just God.
A week and a day ago, everything changed.
At 6:33pm last Sunday night, we went from being a family of three with a seven year old to a family of four with a seven year old and a newborn.
Emily was amazing, and she was only in true labor for about three or four hours, and she had to try and hold back to give the doctor time to come in when Ben was ready to make his grand appearance.
He was born at 6lbs 8 ozs, 19 inches long, and Emily, Jake, and myself were so excited to see him for the first time.
So, I want to say welcome to the world Benjamin James Gillming, my son. Your mommy and daddy can't wait to show you how much we love you!
Your brother Jake can tell you first-hand that we love him so much, and we love you too!
Signed, the lucky dad of the two most awesome boys in history!
A year and a half, huh...?
This is awkward.
Ok, since the last time we talked, some things have happened. First of all, Jake graduated from kindergarten. And first grade. He is the most insanely well-behaved kid at school (I think because he has a mortal fear of getting in trouble). He has played two sports, baseball and soccer, and he is great at both. Maybe a little better at soccer, but eeeeeh... he's a baseball freak now, so it's ok. My dad, Jared, and I took Jake to a Marlins-Braves game in Atlanta, and ever since then he has been all about baseball. Obsessively so. It's awesome. I love the little guy, he is an amazing son to have.
I'm still married to my hot wife (You can just copy and paste that last sentence into infinity, because as long as I have any say, that fact is NOT changing). She finished working at the preschool a few months ago and she isn't going back to work in the fall. Because we are a few short days away from having our SECOND son, which is freakin' awesome. She is the most amazing mom, and we are still getting used to the idea of saying, "The four of us..." I am blessed beyond measure to have a wife like her, a best friend to do life with, a soulmate that encourages you and loves you no matter what. She is seriously looking forward to being a stay-at-home mom and doing all kinds of stuff with her boys.
As for me, the only big news is the next level worship cd, about 75% finished up. I think/hope it's going to turn out to be something really cool, and it's been a huge God thing to be able to record it at GAT3 studios with the Tabor family. Such cool people, such a huge help for this cd.
Ok, all caught up? I think that's life right now in a nutshell, so now we can go back to being friends. \\\high five\\\
Emily was out tonight getting a haircut, so I decided to make a little surprise for her... to show my wonderful wife how great I think she is, to show her that I am head over heels for her.
Jake had a valentines day project for school that involved these little heart stickers, the excess of which were sitting on the table, sooo...
I made a few arrows made up of the words I LOVE YOU that made a little trail...
(As you can see, there were quite a few of these little signs, and quite a few I LOVE YOU's.)
Those little white hearts all around it were the backs of those heart stickers, which I was just going to throw away, but... I think it looks pretty cool. And I think Emily will love it here in a few minutes. So all of this leads to:
"Maybe a thousand little 'I Love You's' can mean so much more than one really big one because they take a lifetime to say."
"I promise you a lifetime of 'I Love You!"
I think she might just like this.
Right at the start of our Disney experience... so excited!
Face painting... an integral part of the experience! Jake was a superhero that day. Does it matter that like an hour later it was a big smeared mess? Nope.
Outside the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Emily said she wanted to live there. I'm pretty sure she was serious.
When you love Star Wars as much as he does, does it get any better than this?
What is love if not the meeting of two broken people?
If not the only place where one can bear his entire self without fear of rejection?
If not the audible sound of a flutter inside your chest when she says, "I love you", and the tangible, very real sensation that flows from your head all the way down to your little toe?
If not the feeling that the world does not matter, that the only important thing is making sure one person is happy and taken care of?
If not the belief in Someone so much bigger, because one has to believe in God when confronted with the truth that this person exists, and more than that, this person actually loves you back?
If not the waking up after an entire life asleep?
Am I only dreaming?
And what is she if not the sound of the ocean, the sunspots on my skin, the sight of the stars, the fire in my eyes, the feel of a bed thirty feet deep, and the beating of my very heart?
What is she if not the best song I have ever heard, the sweetest line I have ever sung?
I have no questions, for I know the answers now. Finally, I know the answer. And she is an amazing and beautiful discovery. Somehow, she is my wife.
If you want to know what goes on in my brain:
-I am married. This is the greatest thing to ever. I love my wife and my son and I am beyond happy they actually like me and want me around.
-I am slowly becoming disillusioned about reality television. I know it's fake, but for some reason it still feels like the process of figuring out Santa isn't real.
-I am getting unpacked and settled and situated and it feels really good to get things in place. Em is a great decorator, so the house looks like an entirely new place. And that is a great thing.
-I am turning 24 on Sunday. It feels like I just turned 23, so it's really weird thinking a whole year has gone by. I have a strong feeling that 24 will be the best year yet. I have everything going for me.
-I want the Hurricanes to beat the Noles on Em's birthday. Really badly. This sounds like a stupid thought to be included with everything else here, but that is what is going on in my brain. Football. I think I have a problem.
-I am living out a unique day today. Jake's first full day of school, first tee-ball game, Em's first day at her new job. I'm excited for Em's new job and I am excited for Jake to keep on growing into an amazing person. It's cool to watch God already steering our lives in some awesome directions. It's impossible to miss God in this.
There is my brain, served hot on a silver platter. Enjoy vivid imagery.
Trying to figure out something to do last night, we think, should we rent a movie?
No, we actually wanted to hang out with each other, not just stare at the tv.
Em suggests getting a new game to play with just her and I, so we buy a $5 game of battle of the sexes. About 30 minutes and many laughs later we run out of questions.
She was way better than me, by the way.
So do we quit? No. We go to her sisters and borrow their copy of the game that has a lot more card and play until we hurt from laughing so hard at my terrible answers.
A great night... way better than watching a movie. Em is all the entertainment I can handle.