Then the LORD said,
“My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time,
for they are only mortal flesh.
In the future, they will live no more than 120 years.”
Genesis 6:3 NLT
One of my favorite movies from my college years was Innerspace. I haven’t watched it in a while so I forget some of the details, but the key storyline was kind of a science experiment gone wrong. One of main characters volunteers for a miniaturization experiment and, once shrunk, ends up being injected into a human rather than [the planned] rabbit. He is able to see life through another person’s eyes – literally.
Reading through the book of Job has been that type of experience thus far. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same comedic timing. This is seeing life through the eyes of someone who is in so much emotional, physical and spiritual pain that he doesn’t want to live. I have learned quite a bit about what NOT to say to a person in pain, thanks to Job’s wife and friends. However, this week my big take-away was a little different. This week the words of Job and his friends made me remember a very special verse I read back in Genesis.
Genesis chapter six explains the beginning of the epic flood that most of us have heard of from Sunday School and on. Adam’s descendants had grown to a large population and God had something to say about it:
“Then the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years.’” (Genesis 6:3 NLT)
That verse moved me so much. I thought for quite some time about God’s Spirit putting up with me. God’s Holy Spirit dwells within me! My human brain translated that to something similar to the Inner Space experiment. What is my inner environment like to God’s Holy Spirit? What does my life look like through his eyes and in his ears? He can hear my thoughts – do they make echoes of groans and complaints or do I create music of praise and worship inside me that reverbs joy and thankfulness? Do I surround myself with Godly conversations? Is God’s Spirit relieved that I will not live beyond 120 years?
If I put myself in Job’s inner space as he suffers, I feel some level of the kind of misery and pain he is going through and I imagine God’s Spirit would feel a multitude more than I can. It helps me understand a little bit better why God’s Spirit will not put up with us humans for such a long time. It is painful to listen to your loved ones hurt so much! I am so thankful that God loves my inner thoughts, feelings, and guts no matter what!
Challenge: This next week, I want to be more intentional about what I let float around in my “inner space.” I will start each day with a prayer to be a worthy, joyful place for God’s Spirit to be in.
Dear Lord, as I read Job’s words with his friends, I hurt for him. I hurt for his friends. I hurt for your Spirit, who patiently resides within us through good times and bad. Please help me to remember that I am merely a vessel of YOUR Spirit and YOUR will. Help me to endure suffering and celebration in a way that embraces, rather than grieves, your Holy presence in my inner space. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/45257015@N03/11789869174″>I Love Your Guts Valentines Day Gift. Anatomical Embroidery Hoop Art.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>