Within the last couple of years my father told me a story that I have no recollection of occurring. It seems that when I was around five years old, I was with my dad visiting my grandmother at her home. I enjoyed being with grandma. So understandably when it was time to pack up and go home, I decided to prolong the stay. I’m not sure why but at five years old screaming and crying seems to be the best plan of attack for everything. When that appears to get attention you have to retreat to unattainable ground before the big folks can make you stop. I did great on both accounts. The waterworks were going and I managed to get myself sandwiched between grandma’s stove and cabinets. My dad had no hope of fitting in the tight space and his powerful arms couldn’t reach the length of the gap. Victory was mine!
A scream that bellowed throughout the kitchen for at least ten seconds. Then… silence.
“Okay, we’ve both had our scream and we’ve both had our fun. Now it’s time to go.”
Defeat set in as I was reminded that dad was in control and out trumped my puny little voice.
Jump over to Job. Throughout the book you have to feel sorry for this guy. He loses everything and then is taunted by his friends, who claim that all his calamity is a result of his sin. Not exactly the glamorous lifestyle of the saint that we would envision. Job sits around in the dust and wants God to answer for His actions. I’m with Job. God what were you thinking? I also have the benefit of looking at this story from an outsider’s viewpoint. I got to see that Satan and God were challenging each other on whether Job would cave-in and curse God after all the unfortunate events. Seriously. There need to be some answers here from the source.
Well, God shows up to speak with our downtrodden friend. I’ll admit I was pretty excited. Even last week I remember Job declaring that his situation was unfair. I just can’t help but feel that God will show up and give Job good reason for all the suffering. At the very least God is going to vindicate Job’s emotions and give the plague to the taunters…. er, friends, right? NOT! Instead God throws rhetorical question after question at Job to remind Job that He (God) is sovereign not only over Job but EVERYTHING.
“God then confronted Job directly: ‘Now what do you have to say for yourself? Are you going to haul me, the Mighty One, into court and press charges?’ Job Answers God I’m Ready to Shut Up and Listen Job answered: ‘I’m speechless, in awe – words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.'”
I can see the whole situation play out like my childhood situation. Here is a kid thinking that he is going to control a situation that is unfair in his eyes. The whining and tears begin. While dad has watched and been present for the whole situation, he finally speaks up. God’s questions are like throwing cold water on a panic-stricken person. It snaps Job out of his emotional state and starts to put things into perspective. I would like to see my situation as unfair and give my input on how my life should play out. However, there is one that is of more infinite wisdom and power than I that is in control.
Okay. Fine. God is in control. He has seen my days play out before I was ever thought of being in existence. He controls the universe and all its intricate parts. Each day – each breath that I’m given is a gift and I should be grateful for my life.
However, here are my questions coming from these chapters:
-It was okay for Job to feel sorrow. Was it okay for him to feel cheated?
– Where in my life am I pretending to be the authority figure apart from God?
– Why do I have to feel in charge?