I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some relief from sheltering at home. I’d really like to go to a concert right now. Packed with people. And I’d also really like to be all alone for a whole day, and eat dinner at a restaurant. Dining in.
People are debating whether we will all go back to “normal” or if we should never be the same normal again.
Me, I’d just like to take my laptop in to our local computer shop, once he reopens, and see if he can fix the “b” key. It was sticking so I took the little cover off it and cleaned it and the adjacent keys (that usually works) but it’s now to the point where I have to leave the cover off and push it just so with the flat end of a pen, and then quick hit the backspace key to keep it from typing that letter over and over!
My name is Becky. I type that letter a lot.
This is just a little thing, yet it irritates me and makes me a little pithy. Multiply that times however many hundreds of things are different and irritating during this pandemic, and I can see how people would long for normal, whatever that means.
I think it would be better to work towards a new standard where the little things don’t irritate me as much, where I have learned to handle the stress in better ways.
I wish there were someone who could help me face these things, who could feel my frustration, who sees my heart even when my mouth is spouting pithiness.
Which is why I am so thankful that Jesus is right now interceding for me, sitting at God’s right hand, telling him what it feels like to be human and scared and irritated and frustrated and all the other things I’m feeling.
This week I was reading in Job, and he went through a lot worse than we’re going through now, yet he also was thankful someone knew and loved him enough to plead his case.
Job 16:19-21 New International Version (NIV)
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend[a]
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as one pleads for a friend.
These words were penned long before Jesus lived on earth as God inside the body of a man.
Last week I had been pondering the new life Jesus rose from the grave to embrace, and now this week I read this passage in Job and it gives me even more to think about!
What a unique perspective. Job lived very close to the creation of the first people. When I read Job I find it odd that unlike most of the Old Testament there are not references to Israel, so I wonder if he lived before Abraham.
He had wonderful conversations with God – “Where were you…!” God sets Job straight on his power and majesty, his creativity and provision.
And Job feels the very real actions of someone interceding for him.
“My witness” he says. Someone who sees inside him, who knows not only what he does but the state of his heart when he does or thinks anything.
John 1 tells us that Jesus is the Word, and that in the beginning, through him ALL things were made.
Who better than your creator to give witness to how you are made and everything you are capable of doing?
“My advocate…” The word means a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. Synonyms are champion, upholder, supporter, promoter, protector, to name a few.
Job was in the middle of being put through everything Satan could throw at him short of taking his life, and he felt someone in heaven was his champion, his protector.
And he seems to look at this supporter as different from the person of God, the one he feels he has not spoken against.
“My intercessor is my friend…” I just LOVE this! If there were someone advocating for me, I wouldn’t want it to be a stranger who is just out to promote their own agenda, and finds that if I am on their team it makes them stronger.
And it’s not someone who knows me casually, who is okay with me joining them, again to help their own cause have more support.
Job sees his intercessor as his friend! Someone who knows and loves him, who cares about his well-being, who has contributed good to his life.
Someone who would one day lay his life down for his friend.
I will never forget a long ago Beth Moore study I did in which one of the many words she went back to the original language and defined was “intercede”.
Her explanation was that it is when someone who has the right to speak to another, the right relationship and the authority, takes the other person’s face in their hands, looks them in the eye, and once they have their full attention, speaks on someone else’s behalf.
So whenever I read “intercede” in the Bible I picture it.
Jesus, equal with, part of, intricately related to God the Father, faces him. He takes the Father’s face in his hands, looks him straight in the eye.
And says, “Becky needs…”
“On behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.”
I read Job’s words, and I get the sense that he had an image of someone looking Father God in the eye, pleading with him.
But there’s a difference I see between Job and me, between that time in history and today.
Jesus always was and always will be, but in the course of human history he had not yet inhabited the body of a man and lived a human life. He knew exactly how Job was made, what he had designed him to be able to do, so he could speak with authority.
Job could trust his maker to look out for him.
How much more can we? Can I?
Jesus not only made me, he lived on this earth and was tempted in every way. Every way I ever have or ever will be.
He knows what it feels like to be me.
So I can trust him to know what I need.
And so can you.