God is so big. His ways are above our ways.
NCC is reading through the bible in a year. I’d love for you to do it along with us. Free resources, daily readings, and a blog that’s being updated every morning by NCC Staff at FromGardenToCity.com
We’re currently going through the book of Job. Here’s the short of it: the angels come in to present themselves to God, and Satan strolls in along with them. God asks him what he’s been up to, and Satan says he’s been walking around the earth. At that point, God starts bragging about Job, but Satan says the only reason Job is the way he is, is because God pampers him, and he says that if God were to take all of his stuff away, he’d curse God. God tells Satan he can do whatever he wants to Job other than lay a finger on him.
For most of the book, Job is in hell on earth. His kids are killed, he loses everything he owns, he’s plagued with sickness, and his so called friends harass him endlessly about something he must have done wrong to deserve what he is getting.
Almost 40 chapters later, God steps in and answers Job in a way he wasn’t expecting. Instead of giving him direct answers, God lists a bunch of His accomplishments reminding Job that He is in control. Job repents for what he did not understand, and the Lord gives him double what he had before.
Anyone else find this strange? God brags about Job, Satan challenges God, Satan destroys everything Job has, Job wants to know why God allowed this, God essentially tells Job I’m in control, Job repents for what he did not understand, God blesses him with twice as much as he had before.
What just happened here? Did God use Job, a man who had done nothing wrong, to prove a point?
Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
What I love about the story is that Job recognizes that because God has everything in control, Job’s story fits into the grand story of God. So he despises himself for the way he acted and repents.
I love how Donald Miller puts it in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years:
Job responds, even before his health and wealth are restored by saying, “All of this is too wonderful for me.” Job found contentment and even joy, outside of the context of comfort, health, or stability. He understood the story was not about him, and he cared more about the story than he did about himself.
I love that. In describing his own situation on the next page, Donald says: He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree.
Jenilee did the staff devotional this morning on Job. While she was speaking about it this morning, I had an old revelation. Does that make sense? A reminder. I have no right to call this life my own. God gave me free will to do what I want, but He gave me life and as such, I owe my life to Him. Any sense of entitlement, and sense of pride, and part of me that thinks any of this is about me is just plain arrogant. It’s about Him.
That’s not to say my story or your story isn’t important, because it is. Our stories teach other people how to tell stories, and their stories teach other people how to tell stories. But we are merely trees in the forest of a story God is telling.
What is more important to you? Your story, or God’s story? If your story doesn’t line up with His, that’s probably not a good place to be.