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Why I think we’re here on this planet. I believe these things because of my own experiences after 40 years sober.

Does God ‘test’ us? No, I don’t think so.

I don’t think it’s God who is doing these terrible things we experience here. I think Satan rules this world and is the author of all our sorrows. Satan is the one who relishes our pain. Not God.

Think about the story of Job.

God made sure we knew that it wasn’t Him who wreaked havoc with Job. He allowed Satan to do it. But not for what Satan thought. “To get him good!” God had another idea for it all. He had something in mind to do to Job and, at the same time, relay information to us (when we have to go through Job experiences) through the story. It was all in His plan. But in the story He, on purpose, wanted to  make it very clear that he doesn’t do stuff like that to us. He is our Father and wants us to know that the shit we go through does not come from Him. He doesn’t want us to run from Him as though the shit we’re going through comes from His throne. He wants us to run away from Satan – and to – Him. Just like He knew Job would do.

But He does allow for shit to happen. He allows Satan to run rampant through our lives while we’re here.

Why?

I think it’s quite a sophisticated plan He has devised. Unbeknownst to Satan, He’s is using that evil being for His own purposes. Purposes for our good.

Because, while we’re here, using Satan as His tool,  God is giving us the fortunate opportunity to learn things through experiencing them and, using the free will He blessed us with, make some very important decisions based on those visceral experiences. While our spirits are without bodies we are unable to learn some very important things that cannot be taught through ‘book learning’ in the heavenlys.  So He sends us here to go through ‘on-the-job training’. Book learning helps to gain knowledge to some extent, but it’s the on-the-job training that allows us to learn things in much deeper ways than simply talking about them in class. It was all about getting through to our ‘viscera’.  Way down to that deep place, where we truly live and breathe.

In the story, Job went through a deep period of on-the-job-training as he experienced all those stressful things. The loss of his livelihood, his children (who, by the way didn’t die as no spirit ever dies in God’s realm. Spirits just go back to be with God. Remember, He reclaimed all of them in a very quick and painless way), and his health. What happened in the end of all this stress? He was given the gift of hitting an emotional bottom. And why is hitting bottom a gift? Because it is a very good vehicle for separating us from ‘old ideas’ we cling to that don’t serve us well; misconstrued ideas we clung to while in spirit where we weren’t able to get opportunities to go through stresses strong enough to sever them from us. Stresses that force us to make desperate decisions. To make us desperately want (the key) to pick up new ideas, and not just feel like we need to – or (even worse) feel we ‘should’ (ugg!!). Ideas that pertain to relating and relying on God and wanting to truly rest in His love. And truly realizing, that in the universe of real reality, where there’s furious forces of good and evil,  just how ‘powerless’ we actually are. Only God knows how to do battle with of the forces of evil. We need to choose Him and run from the evil – not the other way around. That’s why it’s very important to understand that it’s not God who’s causing the pain. He is the salve, run to Him, not away. Remember, in the story, He specifically stated that the stress came from the Evil One. It was Satan who started the craziness – not God.

Before everything happened to Job, God knew he was going to pick his God and not curse Him. But he loved Job and wanted him to be blessed in a very deep and meaningful way; to become intimate with our God like he’d never been before and to gain a new and more wonderful relationship with Him.

Realize this. At the end, God came to Job! He did not just leave him to suffer torment forever, but only for the time it took to learn something. As a result of the temporary experience of suffering, Job was changed. In his bottom, Jobs’ ears were opened in a new and deep way so that he was able to hear and assimilate information God was now able to convey to him at viscera level.  The suffering emptied Job and allowed him to take in a new understanding of God because it changed him down to his DNA. He was now able – to viscerally incorporate – this new information.  God didn’t convey this information to his buddies, nor to us as we’re only reading it in a book, but to Job alone. They (and we) could not get it the way Job now could. And because of this Job was blessed. Job chose God instead of choosing the other way (not Him), and because of that now knew God in a way that he’d never known Him up until that time. And when the dust settled, God blessed his life more than it had ever been blessed before. Job gained everything he’d lost – and so much more. The ‘dross’ of riches (that keep us from entering the kingdom of God) were torn away and he could come out from it now with a new richer and more rewarding walk with God on top of all his regained worldly riches and health. Because God loved Job – soooo much!!!

Job was a special guy in Gods’ eyes. God said this of His beloved Job in 1:8

“Then the Lord said to Satan,

Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears (awes) God and shuns evil.

I have had Job experiences, as I am sure you have too. Huge storms of stress. And in these, I do my best to always choose God. And, after the dust settles, making this choice has only served to make my life even more blessed. My life is better than I could ever have imagined it could be. But it’s not over yet. The storms are not over yet as I know I still have a few more old ideas I can’t stop clinging to without the help of suffering to separate me for them. But so far so good. Though not Job’s station, from where I came from, I too am already living a more and more JOB BLESSED LIFE!!!

God talks to all of us – just like He talked to Job. He talks to me too and, like Job, I do my best – to listen.

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I love ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

After everything was over and Glinda is talking to Dorothy, she says to her.

I couldn’t teach you this. You had to learn it for yourself.

And what did Dorothy learn?

That there is no place like ‘home’.

Before, Dorothy didn’t appreciate her home. She tried to run away from it. But afterwards, her heart wanted home like she’d never wanted it before.

My home is with God. And I know to my very heart, that for peace, joy, happiness, there’s no place like being with Him.

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ps – when I am at the end of what I can take, I get under my soft blue blanket; curl up in a fetal position; let go of ‘the fight’; and say…

Help

But there’s a catch to this. The fruit (of old ideas) has to be ripe enough to fall away from the tree (you). And for this to happen, time is required for the ripening. Time to let the storms play out. As far as I know, there’s no way around walking through the necessary time to allow the fruit to become ripe enough to fall off. No short cuts. Time is required. Simple time.

Try the blanket trick though as much as you can – until your fruit is ripe enough for the magic to happen. I can’t really explain what the metamorphosis feels like, but you’ll know it when you get there.

So choose God. Always, always, always choose God.