Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (emphasis added)
Two-weeks from today I’ll go to Kingstown and renew my three-month visitors visa to St. Vincent, it’s one of the things I absolutely dread doing.
In May after returning as a full-time missionary one of my goals was to get a long-term visa (one year) instead of the visitors visa that lasts for three months, but unfortunately those aren’t given out till a person has been here an extended amount of time. Coming every three-months isn’t all that frustrating, but they seem to enjoy giving me a hard time when I try to renew it 🙂
For instance last time the visa was renewed in September
- I brought in the necessary paperwork (including a letter from Baptist Mid Missions St. Vincent signed by a fellow missionary Alan Berry) that was accepted last time, but the immigration officer informed me he had to be present for the letter to be accepted
- A week later I came back with Pastor Berry and the letter was accepted without a problem (they didn’t even ask for him)
- That day I ran into another roadblock because my US passport was expiring in October and the immigration officer refused to give me a three-month extension even though the passport was going to be renewed right after that visa was issued
- She eventually after some persuasion agreed to give me a one-month visa
- And I came back two days later to find my three month extension had been accepted!
The issue here seems to be that officers are allowed to make their own judgement calls in situations which means I get told one thing one day, and then another the next. In a way each of us experience small injustices like this in life, nothing that is worth going to authorities over, but it can easily lead to moments of anger or frustration.
In moments like this it’s helpful to understand God not only sees our injustice, but it’s part of His plan.
Job was experiencing things that would make my immigration struggles look like a walk in the park and it definitely created frustration and anger about the injustice God had brought to him. He was confused about why it seemed like the unsaved were experiencing joy (Job 21:7-9, 21:13) though they rebelled against God (21:14-15) and contrasted the blessed wicked with the Godly like himself who are suffering (21:23-25).
In the midst of his confusion and pain however Job clings to precious truths. First eternity will be spent in the presence of God. Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
And second God sees his injustice (Job 23:10).
I personally believe in this verse Job is saying two things;
- First God sees his pain and suffering
- Then second God sees the integrity (Holiness) of Job in that suffering
Now it’s true that Job has begun to question God and become bitter, but his point is that the original attack didn’t come because of his own sin. Actually God pointed out to Satan in the beginning that Job “held fast to his integrity” (Job 2:3). But the larger point is God saw the injustice that was done to him.
I’m expecting the immigration department to make things hard on me yet again in a few weeks but it’s a blessing to know God sees the small injustices of life. At the same time though it’s convicting to know He sees my heart response to those small injustices.