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.” (Job 40:3-5)
Relate: Jason wasn’t a mechanic. Yes, the hood in front of him was popped and he was spouting out stuff like he knew what he was talking about. Really, though, he had no interest in fixing this engine. All he was really after was a phone number. Jason was a single guy driving down the road when he noticed this damsel in distress. It seemed heavenly choirs of angels were singing when he saw her and quickly started to pull over. Clearly her engine needed help. Clearly the fix needed was beyond his limited capabilities. But what wasn’t beyond his capabilities was the ability to spout out mechanical jargon long enough to make it seem he really tried but he “just doesn’t have the right tools with him and we need to call a tow”. Anything can be fudged for a pretty face. Then a real mechanic showed up. Thirty seconds of checking, a little tightening of this and pulling of that, and that damsel was on her way. The mechanic was on his way. Jason was now standing in front of his own car as the traffic was going by wondering how his luck had turned bad so quickly, and how he was going to explain to his boss why he was late for work.
I love the book of Job. I love it for the comfort it brings to those going through difficult times. I love it because it doesn’t try to give trite answers to difficult questions but rather shows godly people wrestling with age old questions. I love it for its anticipation of a coming Mediator and Judge. I do have to admit, though, that I also love it because the bulk of it contains a good old fashioned Jewish debate. Who doesn’t love a good debate? Job’s friends line up with the position, this bad has happened because you must have done something bad along the way to deserve it. Job responds, “No I haven’t. I am just and I wish someone would show up and tell me what is really going on.” Back and forth, ever more eloquently, for thirty chapters four friends circle around this topic. Then God shows up. When He does, God doesn’t answer the questions the way Job expected. He doesn’t tell all that is really going on behind the scenes. Instead He simply points to Himself. Job’s response to this? “OK. I’ll shut up now.”
React: Anyone who has been reading the River Walk for any length of time know that I sometimes can get a bit cerebral. I love to research and study. I love science and physics and philosophy and I love real apologetics (not the entry level “More Carpenter” stuff that simply rehashes hundred year old arguments in a bottom shelf cookies kind of way). Just this past week I had a great conversation defending Christianity against a good half dozen Muslim arguments/misunderstandings against it. I love stuff like that. But I also recognize that even the most reasoned and eloquent of words are just that. The greatest argument for God is the presence of God. When he shows up on the scene… I’ll shut up now.
Help me to know and learn and study and prepare so that I might be ready always to give an answer. Ultimately, though, help me never forget that You are the greatest answer. When You arrive on the scene, there are no words. I ask that You show up. In my home, show up. In my community, show up. At my workplace, show up. In my suffering and trials, show up. When I am working in obedience and love to relieve the suffering and trials of others, show up. There is nothing else that comes close to being or having the answer. You are it. Reveal Yourself in my world that all might see and love You.