For we football fans this terminology is completely understandable. A defense can give up yards that seem easily taken and then suddenly buckle up and hold their ground. Thus, bending but not breaking!
This morning my devotional took me to Job 1, or in today's terminology this would be Defcom 7, the point where four separate messengers come to him with catastrophes that are seemingly unbearable. But, amazingly my Bible titles that section "Job's First Test". Test? You lose your livestock, your servants, and your children and this is a test?
To us, in this mentality of humans, we see this as ridiculous. A great man facing a test when he was doing nothing but being good and doing what he was supposed to do. In God's world, which sees things a whole lot different than we, this was his way of showing the devil there were certain people on earth, who were believers, that would possibly bend, but would not break under intense trial.
Even after hearing this news, Job hit his knees and began to worship and think of how we might directly act if this happened to us. Hit our knees and worship? Test? When the word came to me by messenger that my son was killed, I buckled, but somehow, and I don't even remember all the details, I did not break and somehow my relationship with the Lord got stronger. I take no credit, it must have been divine intervention, because if you had said test to me I would have raged against you. Fortunately, no one did.
When I look around a room filled with 100 people in addiction recovery, I see hurting, broken folks who have bent severely, but somehow by the grace of God have not been totally broken and have actually been brought to this point of decision. Rage against the situation or come to believe that a power much greater than us can help us understand and recover.
Luke 18:1 says, "pray and do not give up." Job, bending in his sorrow, but not breaking, came praying and worshiping his way out of the funk and found redemption. He never gave up, even under heavy criticism from his family and friends.
To us, we may in our logic never understand this test, but we do know how to pass it!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.