Recently, while traveling on the interstate, I saw a billboard featuring an attorney which stated, "In a wreck? Get a check". Apparently, if you're in a wreck, all you need to do is contact this guy and he'll find a way to get you some money to compensate for your loss. Of course, I imagine this is not a free service. Surely the guy on the billboard gets a cut from your reimbursement. Maybe his advertisement should more accurately read, "In a wreck? I'll also get a check".
Yet, this advertisement appeals to part of our nature. If we are given a raw deal, we feel like someone should make it better. If our steak is undercooked at the restaurant, we feel that the cook should cook it some more, or maybe even give us a free dinner. If our washing machine breaks down shortly after purchase, we feel the company should repair it or replace it without cost. If our car is a lemon, we think the dealer should make amends in some form or fashion. In whatever situation, the compensation helps overcome the sting of our discomfort.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of compensation in the Bible is the story of Job. As you recall, Job was a wealthy man. Yet, within a brief period, he lost his family, his servants, his livestock, and, worst of all, his health. However, in chapter 42 of the book of Job, it is exciting to see how "...the Lord restored the fortunes of Job...and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold" (verse 10). In addition, "the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning" (verse 12). Eventually, Job "died, an old man an full of days" (verse 17). Maybe, on his deathbed, the terrible losses Job experienced in his life were just a distant memory.
I know that for me, personally, having had cancer, I am constantly seeking ways to compensate for the damage it inflicted upon me. My book, my blog and speaking engagements are part of this process. Mind you, these activities may not ever totally restore my losses. Yet, there is great joy when I see how God is using my affliction.
Furthermore, God may not give me a check like the billboard says. However, the wisdom, insights and ministry He has provided me due to my cancer are truly invaluable. In addition, just like Job, He may one day allow me to die an old man and full of days.