Who Do You Think I Am?

I've just begun reading in Job for my morning quiet time. A part of me wants to yell, "Run, Job! You have NO idea what's coming!!" Good ole' righteous, upstanding Job. Good ole' Job with 7 sons and 3 daughters. Good ole' Job with thousands of sheep, camels, donkeys and oxen. Good ole' Job. He did everything just like he was supposed to ... and still he lost it all. Every single bit of it, plus some.

This is the part of the story where many of us would say, "I did my part, God. Where in the heck were You?"

Job suffered tremendously. He lost all 10 of his children, all of his wealth, and many of his servants and belongings in one day. A short time later, his hurting and grieving wife turned on him, and he lost his health and was on the brink of death. Good ole' righteous, upstanding Job. Good ole' Job who had done everything just like he was supposed to.

God allowed for it all to be taken away.

And what does Job say? My rough summary of the many chapters of Job's discourse: My eye has seen this. My ear has understood it. I did what I was supposed to do. I'm not being punished because I haven't done anything wrong. But sovereign God has done this, and I demand to know why.

The amazing part is that Job holds on to the sovereignty of God like a lifeline.

Have you ever been water skiing and fallen off the skis without letting go of the rope? I'm sure you're a better athlete and smarter person than I am. You can probably answer that question with a resounding no. But you're not me. Let me tell you -- when you're being pulled on the water face down by a speed boat, you eat lots and lots of water. Lots of it. It's really not very fun and will cause you to not want to water ski again. Ever.

That's what's happening to Job here. He's lost his skis. He's fallen flat on his face and is being pulled through the chopping waves of the waters. Drowning. Being out of control. He doesn't get it. He doesn't like it. He doesn't understand. Through it all, however, Job doesn't let go of his lifeline. He can't, because it's all he's got left.

But none of this makes sense. Job stands before God and demands to know what's going on. Where in the heck were You? Why didn't You do Your part? I'm hurting here, and You're not doing anything! I want to know why.

And instead of God thundering back at Job, "Who do you think you are?", He proceeds to show Job all of creation, all that He's done. "Where were you when I did all this, Job?" All wisdom, all might, all strength, all understanding -- all His. Job will never truly understand God and His workings.

Neither will I.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who sets the limits for the sea? Look at the stars. Did you place them in those exact positions? Do you cause the rain to fall on the grass that grows? Do you feed the ravens and make sure they have food? These are all mysteries to you, Job. You haven't done these things in the past. You won't do them in the future. You can't do any of it. But I can, God says.

In other words, there are millions of things going on in this world. Literally millions. Job didn't understand them, didn't know how they all worked. And neither do I. But God does. And, it's presumptuous for me to think I can tell God just exactly how He needs to be working.

What strikes me is the tenderness in all of this. It's as if God is whispering "Who do you think I am? Open your eyes. Really see Me."

I think that's the same thing He whispers to me every evening as He paints the sky in vivid oranges, pinks, and purples of the sunsets. It's the same thing He whispers to me as the slender stems of flowers push out from the ground, eager to bloom. It's the same thing He whispers to me when someone grievously wounds my heart and leaves me broken and bleeding by the wayside. It's the same thing He whispers to me when up seems down, inside seems outside, and right ways seems side ways. It's the same thing He whispers to me as I open my Bible every morning, run my hands over the well-worn, marked up pages, and seek Him there.

Who do you think I am?

There have been times of deep grief and no understanding. There have been (and probably will be) times of wanting God to explain and give me answers. Ultimately, it all comes down to this: God is God, and I am not. He is good. He is faithful, and I can trust Him even when I don't have responses or explanations.

May my words be like Job's: "My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes see You." I see You, Holy God. I see Your sovereignty, Your goodness. I don't need to understand. I don't need to approve. I just need to see You.


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