He was nearing 70 years old and was quite the seasoned listener. Some even said he had a ‘gift’ in listening because he wouldn’t interrupt. Ever. He would simply sit and smile, while giving the most caring eye contact while listening and not just hearing whoever came to him for a visit.
Early one morning, while this wise and humble grandfather was sitting at the kitchen table stirring his coffee, it was the constant complaining from his adult grandsons that caused him to lean back in his chair and give them his silenced attention. He placed his cup on the table and refused to even take a sip because what his grandsons had to say had more value than his own appetite. You see, they were unloading some very real suffering in their life and both could not see any light in their darkened circumstances. The elderly man listened intently not uttering a word, not even a sigh. And as they finished telling of their last woe, he said this:
There’s another man who suffered, too, and his suffering was all because of a conversation. One day, the LORD initiated a conversation with Satan and He said to him, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” So the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”
The grandfather then leaned back in his chair and took hold of his coffee cup and gave his grandsons some advise that instantly changed their entire outlook …
He said, “When you find that all hell has broke loose in your life, you’d be wise to consider that your name very well came up in a conversation.”
Upon hearing their grandfather’s advise, their perspective totally changed. They no longer saw themselves as victims of their Adversary, but as children of God that the LORD knew would trust Him. Would look to Him. And when they considered the very thought of the LORD having initiated a purposeful conversation with he who is the Prince of this world to be allowed in bringing his evil influences against them, (not to only test their faith but to REVEAL the true faith of those who are regenerated…who have been born from above) … they were energized! The fruit of the Spirit of joy and faithfulness overtook the minds of those two grandsons and they were transformed by the power and truth of His Word!
May this be true of every true born again believer, “For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly,” 1 Peter 2:19.