“Wanna Get Away”
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Text Job 23:1 Then Job answered:2 "Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling!4 I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me. 6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; but he would give heed to me. 7 There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge. 8 "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; 9 on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him. 16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; 17 If only I could vanish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face!
Since the 1990s, Southwest has been running a television ad campaign based on the phrase "Wanna get away?" The commercials present comical, embarrassing situations in which people find themselves wanting to "get away". Most ads are accompanied by the sound clip "[ding] You are now free to move about the country". Sometimes life is like those humiliating situations happen whereby if there was hole in the floor, we would drop through it. I could ask each of you and all would have at least one story where they were embarrassed. The commercial campaign is effective, because people relate to the stories on Southwest commercials.
In one ad, a husband is about to throw a brick through a car window while yelling at his wife for locking the keys inside — until another man arrives and asks what they're doing to his car. The couple's turns out to be several spaces away. In a second ad, a museum curator explains the laborious art of sand painting, and then a woman's sneeze destroys the artwork. In a third ad, a woman gets something in her eye and stumbles into a restroom only to discover after she clears her eye that she is in the men's room.
All of that is funny and then there are times when it is not so funny and we wish we had never come. We get to the spot or place in life where stuff is no longer funny and we wished sometimes that we could get away from some folk who take the joy out of life. They do that by being at times critical, pessimistic, negative, distrustful, cynical and unenthusiastic about life. You know who they are, they approach you with doom and gloom and before you know it you do not feel good any longer. You were fine until they came with the same run down testimony of how Satan was on their track last night.
They make you sick. They constantly talk about the bursitis in their left should, the arthritis in their knees, the warts on their feet and the loss of hearing in their ear, but yet they hear everything they don’t need to. They got bad eyesight, but they seem to see other folk stuff and not their own. Getting away, means getting away from them.
A lot of us know a lot of folk, who have at times sucked the life out of us whether they are realtives, good-friends, church folk from other churches, co-workers, they are just plain old bad for you. They are noted as toxic relationships. Pamela Brewer, Ph.D., has 15 years of experience working with people who are emotionally distressed, or having marriage problems. Dr. Brewer says that there are times when the toxicity of our relationships with others is driven by a toxic relationship with yourself. As with many toxic substances, there are signs that may suggest you may need internal healing.
A toxic relationship is one in which you are feeling harmed either emotionally or physically. She goes no to say that Often, we stay in relationships because we do not understand that we have rights and options. Low self-esteem can be a factor in remaining, as well as depression, fear of being alone, or threats from the hurtful partner. Sometimes, people stay because the toxic relationship so much mirrors their lives as children, that they truly may not have a sense that it is a toxic relationship and that life can be better. Yet we go on irritated, unknown to you, and some are seriously damaging their health. In other words, some folk are too toxic. i.e. late nigh phone calls, psychologist, Dr. Lillian Glass, author of Toxic People (Simon and Schuster), the headaches/and late night phone calls are proof that we're under fire from a toxic person - in other words, "anyone who manages to drag you down, make you feel angry, worn out, deflated, belittled or confused."
We all know these folk, folk who drain us, day after day, night after night, week-in and week-out. The old folk used to call them stumbling blocks, folks that get in the way. They're people whose feelings of insecurity and inadequacy make them jealous, envious and uncaring, so they end up sabotaging your projects, your relationships, your happiness-even your car journey!"
Your wife who supposed to love you gives you the ride from hell from here to Salisbury, MD and back. The Sunday drive to church is supposed to be rewarding and fulfilling and yet they make you drive in separate cars to church, because if you ride with them they quench your spirit. These relationships make you sick and even to the point where your hair falls out by the patches.
Calling these types as you see them or calling them out is the best remedy for toxic folk. You can’t just stand by and do nothing. That brings us to our text in Job. Job has sat with his friends since chapter three and held many conversations straight through to chapter 27. In the third cycle of speeches Job responds with the words, “if only I could get away.” That is the challenge Herbert, how long will you let toxic folk hold up the process of your blessings. God has come to give you life and when other folk get finish you are as far away as you have ever been from the blessing. How and why God let the banter and the conversations go on for what seems like an eternity in the sight of Job. I empathize with him and try to hold fast to Job’s side and find it long and tedious and boring at times, when folk think they are smarter than God. That was the major problem with Job’s friends, perhaps they thought they were smarter than Job and God. Sometimes in life discussions are fruitless and it takes standing silently with tears running down your face to understand what Job was feeling. The greatest evidence that Job knew what to do was when he says “Though you slaw me: I will trust you.”
In order to stay there in that place, there are three things toxic folk (friends) don’t know about you, is that:
1. You know God Knows Job tries to tell his friend that without saying what he knows is that God knows, all about it. It is like that in lie what you feel and what you know about God you can not put into words. They don’t know the very confidence that you have in God and what God’s plans for you are. To do what Job is thinking takes courage and confidence. Vs. 8 but begin here at vs. 2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand* is heavy in spite of* my groaning. 3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! 4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say. 6 Would he oppose me with great power? No, he would not press charges against me. 7 There an upright man could present his case before him, and I would be delivered forever from my judge. 23:8 "If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; Omniscient God is knowing. God knows the plans he has for you to do you good and prosper you and bring you into the land you deserve. God knows the struggles that have brought you to where you are now. You will not suffer long, because there is the song that is so apropos, there is a bright side somewhere. To all who sit in mystery, shrouded with darkness, not knowing, Job let’s us know in the midst of our tears that God knows. God knows, how much you can bear, God knows, yes I’m glad he knows, just, how much you can bear. Life is unbearable at times, when you are caught off guard and can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel, but knowing who holds our hand and whose hand we are in, gives us the blessed assurance of knowing God and God knowing us.
2. You know God is there 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. 12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
3. You know God is powerful 13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. 14 He carries out his decree against me, and Many such plans he still has in store. 15 That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. 16 God has made my heart faint ;the Almighty has terrified me. 17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.