Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Awe Factor

I finished reading Job today. I have been trying to read the entire Bible in a year for a very long time, as long as I can remember.
And in my old age of thirty-something, I have come to the realization that not everything in life needs to work exactly like I plan. In fact, nothing will go as I plan, and just because I miss one day of my reading plan, or two, or 50, doesn't mean I can't still continue on through the Bible.

So, yes. I am behind on my reading plan, but I finished Job today nonetheless. Which was a huge success for me. I usually give up somewhere around Job (I like to go chronoligically rather than front to back, and Job comes after the first 11 chapters of Genesis, so you can see I don't make it very far).

I get to Job, and I get depressed. Who really wants to read a story about a man who loses all his family, all his belongings, and his health, all because Satan had something to prove to God... AND, here's the part I have trouble with... God LET Satan use Job to prove Himself instead!

But this time, I loved Job. I really did.

Even all the speeches from his friends, and his speeches, long and drawn out as they were, have so much in them.

But today as I finished, I felt the writer of Job should have done a better job at brining home the fantastic conclusion. Instead, there is just a paragraph, after all that talking, that is basically summed up in, "And he lived happily ever after."

Maybe it's the writer in me, but I want a big fanfare of resolution.

As I finished I sat in my little blue rocking chair that does not match my bedroom in anyway, and pondered God.

The last part of the book, God describes himself sarcastically to Job. Job defends himself up to this point, all along the way, saying, "I am innocent! Put me on trial and I will prove my innocence! I don't deserve this. What have I done to be treated so unfairly by You, God?" (not exactly his words, but rather the Amy Mykytiuk reader's digest version).

God stays silent throughout Job'scomplaining (which I totally understand and have no judgement toward Job for that), but finally in the end speaks out in sarcasm.
Summed up, God says, "Oh, that's right, I forgot. You were there when everything was created. You control everything. I completely forgot, you are omnipotent, omniscient, all-powerful, and equal to me."

Now that's not what He really says, but that's sort of his message. He's sarcastically reminding Job of who HE is.

This is my favorite question God poses to Job.

"Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep?" Job 38:16

I think I love it because I truly imagine the deep of the sea to be an unreachable place. I never really imagined God strolling along the sea floor, where the undiscovered creatures roam. That's an unfathomable place.

I can imagine him in the universe, because that is sort of where we place him and heaven, out there in space somewhere. But the utter dark, cold, crushing depths of the sea?

Sunday, the pastor spoke about losing that awe factor for certain things in our life, after we have become too familiar with them. I have always felt that way about God.

I was born into a Christian family and attended church from the crib. I was always taught about who He is, and who Jesus is, and how Jesus died and rose again. The story of the Resurrection, though it is precious to me, never held that awe factor for me. It was too familiar. I do not feel that feeling of impossibility, like I would if a dead man sat up out of his coffin at his own funeral and began to speak. But I always wanted to be in awe of the miracle.

When God is finished telling Job exactly who He is, Job says,

"Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth." Job 40:4

Job, gasped and covered his mouth. He had no response, no defense, nothing to say for himself. He didn't say, "Ya, ya. I know you did all that creation stuff and everything, but I don't deserve this!" (Imagine that in your most whiny voice ever).

He was awe struck. He was silenced by who God is.

I finished the story and wondered what it would take to silence me, to make me gasp at the wonder of who God is.

And then I realized. He's already done it. It's those times that He puts me on the edge of that cliff, my heels hanging off the edge and my body weight falling to my despair. Nothing can save me. I can't regain control of my life and save myself. I can only feel my body begin to fall as I wait for Him to rescue me.

It's when He puts me in those places that I have no where to go, no answer, and no salvation apart from Him, that I find the awe factor. It's when He stretches out His hand and rescues me in that completely hopeless and impossible situation, that I find myself gasp. When I know that the only way I could have made it through that "thing", is by His very hand, that I find awe.

I am alot like Job, declaring what it is I deserve. But I love Job's confession in the end, and it is my prayer when I become too big for my britches too.

"I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Hear, now,  and I will speak; I will ask You, and you instruct me.
I have heard of  You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes."
Job 42:2-6

What makes you stand in awe of who God is? Job 38-42 will definitely give you something to think about.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how we need perspective sometimes!! We need to be reminded of who God is!


Feel free to share your thoughts!