Insurance for Job

After dealing with various insurance agents all week, I have now come to the conclusion that we should just sell all of our belongings and go live in a tent on a deserted island.  Apparently there are 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the South Pacific, and that’s only because some poor guy got tired of counting.  We could just pick an uninhabited island and show up, although we might land on shore only to be greeted by the Aflac duck, seeking to insure us from the hazards of falling coconuts.

Insurance agents are always concerned about risks, but they never seem to be too worried about the fact that I have three young kids, including two boys who make a team more formidable than a cyclone.  I risk my life every time I turn a corner in our house and delve into an unknown landmine field of toys.

Just last night I was cooking dinner at the stove, when I stepped back onto my four-year-old’s train set.  Even while I feared for my life, I was briefly impressed that PlaySkool trains have even better velocity than Amtrak.  Then again, Amtrak trains don’t rappel you towards the top of a flight of stairs while holding a scalding pot of meatball soup.

Insurance agents are far too worried about an ACT OF GOD, when they should be  more concerned with an ACT OF CHILD.  They are more anxious about the improbability of a random asteroid hitting my house than they are with the very real probability that I could break my leg on a Matchbox car at any moment.

People who lived during biblical times did not have to worry about insurance.  No premiums, no deductibles, no claims.  We know this because there’s no way they would have let Mary, a nine-month pregnant woman, ride on a donkey.

I can just hear the insurance agent harassing Noah for attempting to build the ark.

AGENT:  Let me get this straight; it’s going to rain for forty days and nights, and you have no flood insurance?  You’re in a flood zone, for crying out loud.

NOAH:  Actually, the whole earth is a flood zone right now.

AGENT:  You realize you won’t be able to file a claim when this is all over.

NOAH:  When this is over, you won’t be able to file a claim either.

AGENT:  What’s that supposed to mean?

NOAH:  Oh, nothing.  Was that a raindrop?  Gotta go!

And how about David, about to attack Goliath without any personal liability insurance?

AGENT:  You’re going to attack HIM?  You could get sued!  A crazy guy like that could totally lose his head.

DAVID:  Hey, now there’s an idea…

Then there are some people, like Job, who just seem uninsurable.

Job was a righteous man who once had it all.  He had a huge number of servants and livestock.  His house could have been destroyed by the thousands of sheep and oxen, but he also had ten children, including seven boys.  Not even State Farm would have been there for Job.  Especially not after Satan started inflicting one disaster after another, causing Job to lose his family, his house, and his health.

During this time, Job’s three “friends” came to commiserate and offer their sage advice.  Unfortunately, their advice was about as useful as an umbrella in a hurricane.

Bummer, Job.  Guess you should have bought that insurance after all, hahaha.

The only one who was really there for Job through it all was God.

Job 42:10,12

the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had  before…The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.

Excuse me?  Who would take a chance on someone who has already lost everything?

That’s exactly what God did when He decided to sacrifice His son for us.  He gave us free will, knowing the risks involved with our human nature.  Being omniscient, God saw the potential for disaster and wisely set up the very first insurance policy of his own.  Even if everything possible went wrong and every person in the world gave up on us, God has already purchased us through the blood of Jesus Christ.  A true umbrella policy.

Yesterday my four-year-old came to me looking for the “big scissors.”  I didn’t want him to get hurt, so I refused, but he persisted until he wore me down.  After being reminded  never to run with scissors, he agreed and then promptly ran up the stairs, sharp scissors in hand.  In an instant I saw what we must all look like to God.  A bunch of children running with scissors and constantly putting ourselves at risk.

Thankfully, the same God who insured the uninsurable Job has got us all covered.


Faithful As A Shadow

Shadows are God’s way of providing entertainment  with no batteries required, no potential missing game pieces, and no rules to argue over.  Just a game between you and the sun.  Shadows are free, and you can take them wherever you go without even having to check them in with your luggage.  But I suppose if they could, the airlines would charge an extra fee for them.

Long before Mattel and Disney existed, shadows were a source of entertainment.  Adam and Eve must have been fascinated by these large black things that followed them everywhere.  The first time Adam saw his shadow, did he jump out of his skin?  Did he attack it with a stick or jump up and down on it?  Since he and Eve did not have cable TV, maybe they were the first to amuse themselves with shadow puppets.

How else would Noah and his family have entertained themselves on the ark?  One of Noah’s sons was named Ham, so he had to have been the ship’s cruise director.

HAM:  Okay, time for Shadow Puppets!  Now put two fingers up; that’s a bunny.

SHEM:  But yesterday that was how you said to do a dog.

JAPETH:   That’s how you’ve said to do every animal.  They all look the same.

HAM:  Um, well…time for lunch!

The average person can only do one or two animals for a shadow puppet. My advice is to choose an unfamiliar animal, and people will never know the difference.  This is a rare species of emu.  If you can give a Latin name, all the better. 

I have four shadows.  Three of them are much smaller than the other, and they seem to follow me wherever I go.  Consequently, whenever I’m cooking, I elbow someone in the face.  Whenever I back up, I step on someone.  I have even sat on them.

My kids are living up to the words of Ruth, “Where you go, I will go.  Where you stay, I will stay” (Ruth 1:16).  Ruth was esteemed as a woman of noble character for staying by her mother-in-law’s side.  I believe that my children are doing the noble and right thing by being my shadows.  They are exactly where they need to be. Yes, my children are frequently in my way, but one day they will move on and I will yearn for the time when they were right under my feet.   

Without shadows, how else would we understand God’s faithfulness?  He describes Himself as the Father “who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).  God always has a purpose behind everything, and he undoubtedly crammed some life lessons into the design of shadows.

I think we are supposed to be God’s shadows by staying near His light. Without the light of the sun, there is no shadow.  Without the light of His Son, we would be swallowed by darkness.  If we are truly being God’s shadows, we follow wherever He goes.  We stay where He stays.  And we always move with the Light, as faithful as a shadow.