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  • Eric Kampmann

In an Instant, Everything Changed

You said, “Listen now, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you shall answer me.”

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

—Job 42:4–6

Try to imagine what it would be like to suddenly find yourself standing before God. You did not expect to be there at all; until a mere moment ago, you were content with your small successes, and you expected, in your heart, to live long past your retirement. You were looking forward to moving south to the house you bought near the ocean. Everything was going as planned, but now, in a split second, you are standing before the throne of God.

What would you say to the Lord? Would you try to justify your unspent life? Would you be defiant? Would you plead for mercy? After suffering mightily, Job faces God, and his reaction should tell us a lot about how we should live in relationship to the holiness of God before we actually must stand before the throne of judgment.

When Job recognizes the majesty of God, he can only say, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Paul, in his letter to the Romans, gently guides us toward the right attitude: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” (Romans 12:3).

When we think highly of ourselves, we then turn the natural order of things upside down. We crowd God out with the smaller concerns of everyday life, losing sight of the fact that we will stand for judgment before The Creator of heaven and earth.

—Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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