Hi everyone, Rob here.
It’s a wild, stormy day outside by Hamilton standards (ask David about Wellington standards!). It reminds me that our God is untamed. He is the ultimate Wild One. He can create storms as well as tame them. He made lions and lambs, crocodiles and kittens, deserts and plains. Sometimes I need to be reminded that HE IS BIG and I am small. I love gazing out into the vast ocean or getting up high and staring over a large landscape. On a clear night it thrills the soul to see the stars and realise afresh that the universe came out of the imagination of the God who loves me.To say that God is big and I am small is not to say that God is distant and I am insignificant. It is to say that life is not up to me ultimately. God is in control and he is big, powerful, wild and perfectly good. He can be trusted and because I am small and he is not I need to trust him. I can’t do better than him.
This was Job’s discovery at the end of his laments. After suffering immensely and lamenting appropriately and enduring his friends patiently, God appears. Instead of offering gentle words of comfort he appears out of a storm and says:
Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me (Job 38:2-3).
Job wanted to put God on trial:
I sign now my defense – let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing (Job 31:35).
God will have none of this. His challenge to Job is effectively this: do you know what I know, see what I see and create what I have created? Who is the powerful one here Job? God goes on to review the wonders and wildness of his creation. He delights in it and takes special delight in Leviathan and the Behemoth. Of course God goes on to restore Job and rebuke his friends. Job was a friend of God but he needed to realise that even in his suffering God knew best. His suffering was intense and awful, but it dealt a blow to Satan that his riches could not. Mysterious? Yes, absolutely, but in the light of Jesus and his cross we know that even God suffers for the sake of his kingdom.
The point is this; that Job needed to be overwhelmed by God’s wildness and power before he could see properly. He needed to know his place even as he suffered and mourned. We are small but we are not insignificant. Job won a spiritual battle, a cosmic fight because a small part of him still trusted God and his purposes. I remember going through a horrible time where I felt like I was blowing it big time. I was battling guilt and shame but crying out to God as well. At one point God came and said, “You are Lancelot. You are a friend of the king. You have fought well.” I dropped to my knees and wept. I wasn’t blowing it. I was beating back the enemy! Of course Lancelot wasn’t perfect, nor was Peter or John or Paul or David, but they were all friends of the King.
In God’s wildness our battles, our laments, our cries for mercy are used as tools to beat back evil and raise up holiness. Just as a bushfire can renew the forest, or rain can revitalise a landscape, our suffering can produce perseverance that produces character which produces a hope that
does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:5)
May God’s wildness feed your heart. May you know that you can trust him even as suffering comes. May a life of trust and hope be yours. Blessings all.
We live our lives before the wild, dangerous, unfettered and free character of the living God.
― Walter Brueggemann