And the Lord said to Job:
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
One of the kids is plunking out a tune on the piano in the living room. The coffee pot has finished percolating. The dog has already been let out and has come back in again. Controlled chaos reigns at the dining room table amongst English books and Math flashcards.
Upstairs, there is a battle being fought.
The preferred position being from my hiding spot under the three quilts on my bed rather than entering in on the front line which would require getting down on my knees on the old wood floor. To go there means tears. Not a few silent tears sliding down your cheeks, but the full avalanche of heaving, sobbing ones which leave you crumpled in the corner.
The ones that don't let you be fake, don't let you get by with that nice prayer of “thanks God for allowing my son to go to heaven,” but the ones that demand that you acknowledge just who this God is. The ones that end in full surrender, eventually waving a hand in the air as evidence, barely able to whisper, “thank you gracious Heavenly Father that You would actually allow my son, my son Trent, into your presence.”
Again, the reconciliation of who I am: a sinner saved by grace. And who God is: the Maker, the Creator, the Potter, Holy, Perfect, Sustainer, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace. To acknowledge that I am nobody to quarrel with God as the Israelites did (Isaiah 45: 9-12)
Will I really dare to question God about what He does with His children? Or give Him orders about the work of His own hands? He is, after all, the One who made the earth, and created mankind upon it. With His own hands He stretched out the heavens and marshaled the starry hosts all by Himself. He didn't ask my advice then, and He's not asking it now.
Surrender is where freedom is found.
“When we ask 'why' we are looking for the answer to satisfy – not God.” Out of the mouths of babes. I wrote Alexis' words down on my never-ending list of quotes and verse references on a recycled Youth Rally flyer that was recently tucked into my Bible. I ponder the words again. Why is it so difficult to let God alone be the one who satisfies?
After Job's many trials, and accusations against God, he gets what he claims to want so bad: a visit from the Great I AM. God doesn't coddle him, or apologize for what He has done, or beg Job for forgiveness for the pain he has endured. Rather, God cuts him another blow and puts him in his proper position; on his knees, crumpled in the corner, acknowledging who he is; who God is.
From the book “The Color of the Night”:
“Job has clamored and complained. He has stood tall. God would have him stand taller by bending low.
Job has been wise, but God would make him wiser. Job has underestimated himself, as we all do whenever we bring grievances against God. Pride isn't overestimation. If we know we are God's children, we will think, not less, but more of ourselves and the God who created us.
Before God, we are always in the wrong. Litany is our fitting language. Like Job, we haven't respected the throne. We have toyed with truth and tried to snatch the crown. Our complaints bear witness against us.
It seems cruel that in the midst of so much misery, Job is cut back and further tormented. But he has wanted to play God. He has trespassed; he can't be healed without hurt. Perhaps this is the meaning of God's relentless chastening. The Gardener prunes the branches, sometimes cutting most deeply into his most fruitful tree, that it may bear more fruit.
The words from the whirlwind invite Job to believe, for the Lord discloses himself as he names the mysteries in his world. Faith can't be commanded or coerced; it is elicited by revelation. In seeing the Lord one sees oneself.
The way to feel small is to stand by someone who is tall. In the words of A.B. Davidson from the Book of Job:
The object of the Lord's answer out of the whirlwind is twofold, to rebuke Job and to heal him – to bring home to his heart the blameworthiness of his words and demeanor toward God, and to lift him out of perplexity into peace. The two things hardly differ; at least both are affected by the same means namely by God's causing all his glory to pass before Job.”
~by Gerhard E. Frost
Surrender reveals the glory of God to be who He is. His ways are not our ways; they are higher than the heavens are from the sky. To look up is the only way that we will see Him.
The oatmeal needs to be cooked, the middle-school readers are ready, and the dentist awaits. I dry my cheeks, attempt a smile, and longingly wait for the coming of my King Jesus.