“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
2“Who is this that darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
3“Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” Job 38:1-3 NASB
We serve a wild God. From the depths of our suffering we might call out to him like Job only to have him visit us in a tornado, showing us who he is and demanding to know who we think we are! This is deeply uncomfortable for our egos to handle. We want a predictable God, one we can put in a box so we can keep him there. It goes against our hardwired longings for control to think that God might have loftier thoughts than we do, that he might be greater than we have the capacity to imagine, that he might even encompass she as much as he, for example.
But one tiny photo taken by the Hubble telescope must convince us that our God is pretty big, and pretty wild. To create spiralling swirls of stars and stir them into galaxies, takes an astrophysicist and artist with knowledge and heart far greater than we can even begin to fathom.
When we decide to serve this great God, we have to know that we don’t know what we are letting ourselves in for. We have no idea what he might do with our puny lives. People with any sense will be scared by this, for the fear of the Lord, as Proverbs and the Psalms tell us, is the beginning of wisdom. But they will also have some clue that as well as being enormously, unknowably great and wild, the Living God is also good, constant and trustworthy. Every atom, every molecule, every flower, every beetle, every sunset and every smile tells us that beauty, truth and order are also at work in creation.
In this way, the Lord is far from unpredictable. Indeed, although we cannot know what he will do or say, or how or when, we CAN know that it will serve his ends and that they will be good ends. In other words, we can trust God to always do the right thing, and to act out of his great wisdom, goodness and loving kindness. That is who he is and in his character, he never changes.
Once comprehended, this leaves us in the realms of grace, able to allow God into every part of our lives. Once the goodness of the Lord has been taken on trust, tasted and seen that it is good, encountered, known a little in the feebleness of our kinds of knowing, there is no room for fear, even of the unknown. This is why encounter with the presence of God leaves Job satisfied, despite having seemingly had none of his questions answered. They were in fact, all answered, simply by the knowing of who God is. Wild, wonderful, beautiful, stunning, limitless, eternal, inconceivable, creative love.
photo from Morguefile