Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of living through a storm of one type or another. Recently people throughout Georgia had to contend with ice and snow. Like hundreds – if not thousands of others – we found ourselves scratching our heads over how we would cook food and stay warm without electricity. Storms have a way of making us appreciate, if only for a short while, nature's power and it's ability to bring our carefully constructed lives, plans and routines to a screeching halt.
There have been times in my life when it seemed the storms of life raged nonstop. It seemed no sooner than one storm passed another followed. In those times I've found myself crying out to God wanting to know where He was, and why He was allowing these things to happen to me. I reasoned that He could step in and instantly make everything alright. With that thought in mind, I just couldn't understanding what was happening and why. I will venture to say most of us have felt this way at some point. What I've learned is believing in God doesn't immunize us against feeling of helplessness and hopelessness when the storms of life rage. In fact, I'm convinced the more storms we experience the, more questions we will have.
My pastor recently preached a sermon that touched on the trials of Job. By all accounts, Job was a righteous man, but his righteousness didn't prevent the death of his children, the loss of his possessions, and his friends from treating him with disdain and suspicion. How many times have those we believed would stand with us during the storms of life turn and walk away? Some who do remain might assume that we somehow 'deserve' what's happening to us. Their thinking is: "Maybe if you prayed a little harder or longer. Maybe if you hadn't done this or that, then maybe these things wouldn't have happened to you." Sound vaguely familiar?
Job suffered so much he finally cursed the day he was born. He simply didn't want to go on living. But what he didn't know was God wasn't finished with him. In fact, God asked Job a series of questions.
God addressed Job next from the eye of the storm, and this is what he said:
“I have some more questions for you, and I want straight answers.*
It's interesting that God didn't speak to Job not from a place of chaos and destruction, but from a place of peace. Job had more than enough calamity in his life. He needed the assurance that despite appearances, God was with him - even in the midst of the storm. Not only was God present, His power surpassed that of the storm! In the end, God restored all Job lost, if fact, He gave him more than he had before. And his friends who had thoughtlessly questioned him had to come and seek his forgiveness.
In all of our lives storms are sure to come - physical, emotional, and spiritual. In the drama of Job we assured and reassured that no matter how fierce the storm: in God, with God, and through God there is a place of peace and hope.
Amen and amen.
* The Message Version
If you want to know more, read the Boob of Job www.blueletterbible.org