Ever have one of those moments when God (lovingly) reminds you just how small you are in comparison to just how big He is? I had one of those moments last night.
Anxiety seems to be the common adjective in my life right now. It hangs over my heart like a constant raincloud, and the last several weeks have been a struggle for me to feel the sun. Some of the questions I’ve been asking God are probably familiar to you too, from some point in your life:
“Where are You?”
“What are You doing right now?”
“Have You forgotten me?”
“I need _____ to happen now!”
Over and over I have danced around these questions. Playing scenarios in my mind. Crying. Blaming God for taking too long and being cruel. When you really think about it, it’s all been rather silly. But it doesn’t feel that way when your heart reaches that breaking point of being done. with. the. waiting.
Yesterday was particularly hard. Work was very slow, and it gave my mind time to think. Thinking can be bad sometimes. By the time I left work, I was an emotional mess and completely stressed out. I managed to calm myself down a little bit by taking Duke outside and throwing the baseball for him. But all evening those constant, nagging, anxious thoughts were running around my heart.
Guys, God is so very right on time with His Word. I opened up my Bible and devotion book last night before going to bed, and the reading was from Job 38. The title of the chapter in my Bible was “The Lord Challenges Job”…..it might as well have said “The Lord Challenges Sarah.”
“Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
‘Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’
‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?’” (Job 38:1-7)
As you might can guess, verse 2 is the verse that slammed my heart…. “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?” Um, forget all that stuff I said earlier God. I was just kidding. *gulp* Guys. The whole chapter, and the chapter after that, and the chapter after that, and the chapter after that were filled with God challenging Job. I can just see Job squirming while the Lord spoke to Him, because I was squirming myself. Obviously, I couldn’t just stop at chapter 38, so I kept reading. I loved the beginning of chapter 40:
“Then the Lord said to Job, ‘Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?’ Then Job replied to the Lord, ‘I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.’ Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: ‘Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. Will you discredit My justice and condemn Me just to prove you are right? Are you as strong as God? Can you thunder with a voice like His? All right, put on your glory and splendor, your honor and majesty. Give vent to your anger. Let it overflow against the proud. Humiliate the proud with a glance; walk on the wicked where they stand. Bury them in the dust. Imprison them in the world of the dead. Then even I would praise you, for your own strength would save you.’” (Job 40:1-14)
Ouch! For two chapters, the Lord challenges Job. Then He asks if Job is done arguing, and Job responds that he has “nothing more to say,” yet the Lord just continues! Finally, in Job 42, the Lord has finished His challenge to Job. What will Job say?
“Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.’” (Job 42:1-6)
It was after Job said this that the Lord allowed Job to be comforted, and Job received his blessings for enduring through the trials.
Today, my mind is still full of questions. I still don’t know how God is going to work it out. The enemy is still trying to throw that anxiety in my heart to make me doubt the Lord and His promises. But He definitely spoke to me through His word last night, and I’m clinging to who I know God is. Who am I to question His wisdom? Do I really still want to argue with the Almighty God? Today, my heart is responding, “I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
If you are struggling with anxiety today, I would encourage you to read Job 38-42. God shows just how marvelous and powerful He truly is as He challenges Job! He can certainly handle our situations!!
“Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!” Job 38:16-21