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Job, Hippos and Why questions

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10. november 2017

When I found out that this week would be the week that I was in charge of writing a blog I was very excited. I knew that today is the Monday after Event and I was pumped to share stories from another great weekend with teens and music and preaching and teaching and counselling and hanging out and playing games and not sleeping.

Event is one of my favourite parts of my year as an Ungdomskonsulent, that is why I have been to 9 of the last 10 Events, and was pumped for this year. Well now I have been to 9 out of the last 11 Events…

So on Friday night as Event was starting I was lying in my bed shivering, way too cold despite an extra dune over me. Instead of listening to the best worship music or David and Frederik, two of the most exciting new speakers in IM, I was listening to my wonderful, very pregnant, wife taking care of my son who was also sick and asking Mommy to please sleep in his room tonight. I lay there curled up and feeling way to sick to be mad, simply confused and sad and I asked the question I have asked so many times before. “Why?”

“Why?”

I believe in an all powerful, all loving, all holy God. I believe in a God who can do anything, but whom no one can make do anything. I know that he is just and right and perfect and wants what is best for me and loves me and all the other incredible things you can say about our God. I might know all these things about Him but sometimes I just can’t make sense of it. Sometimes I just have to ask “Why?”.

Now I am not complaining. I know that me missing Event is not the end of the world. “Oh no!” I cry “Please God don’t force me to miss the job I love in order to hang out with the people I love!!”  Feel the sarcasm. I know I have it great. But the question “Why?” pops up a lot in life and comes around more and more the harder life gets. It can be a confused “Why?” like why am I missing Event.  But it can turn into a hurt “Why?” when you go thru a breakup, or a furious “Why?” when a job is suddenly lost or an accident occurs. Even the crushed, broken and almost empty “Why?” when death takes someone close.

The seriousness of the circumstances change, but the question to a good, loving, all powerful God remains the same. “Why?” So what do we do with this? How does God answer this question? How can we live in a world of “Why?”

Gods’ answer to Jobs’ “Why”

I recently heard Leif Andersen speak on the book of Job and one of the things he pointed out really hit me. Job is the book of a man whose life falls apart, though he has done nothing wrong, and he calls God to account and demands to know why. What has he done to deserve this and what is Gods plan. “Why?” The book is incredible and I recommend reading it, but the most amazing thing to me is Gods’ answer at the end. 

God appears and speaks to Job and he doesn’t give any of the answers you might expect. He doesn’t say he tried his best but sometimes things go bad. He doesn’t say Job needs to shut up and not ask questions. He doesn’t say that the reason that Job is suffering now is to receive blessings later, or so that another plan could take place, or that Job could learn a lesson or become stronger or any of the stuff you might see on TV.

God sits Job down and goes into great detail about animals and weather. Yup. Ravens, deer, snow, rain. It is weird. Then God pauses, and once Job has taken this in, God starts round two in which he goes into even greater detail about a Hippo and a Crocodile. You can’t make this stuff up. What is even better is that after explaining animals, weather, and then bigger, scarier animals, Job is completely blown away and apologizes for misunderstanding. He tells God that he had heard of God but now he had seen him. Job stops asking why.

God cares

Ok, so how in the world does that apply to you and me? When I am troubled by life or in deep distress a trip to the zoo does not usually fix things, so what is happening between God and Job.  Job realises that God cares. Deeply. For him. God is not far off, ignoring things, only drawing near when there is a worship night or when He wants to smite someone. God cares. God cares deeply. About everything. 

God cares that rains come at the right time, he cares about the ravens having enough to eat and is watching when each deer gives birth. God cares so much that he is involved in everything that is happening on this earth. And if God cares so deeply about a Hippo and can explain with joy the way it is built, it’s power and strength, how much more must he care for Job, a human made is his likeness. How acutely he must know and feel what is going on and how much he must love and care for Job. (And for me.)

Job realises he doesn’t need to understand, he needs to trust.

My wife tells me that when I get sick I get philosophical, it drives her crazy actually, I get stuck alone in a room too long and all of a sudden my thoughts take off. That is how I start out to write a blog on the joy of Event and end up writing about Job, trust and Hippos. I hope that no matter where you are or what is going on in your life you can know that God cares and is with you, even though you might not understand the Why.

Jim




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