Living just outside of Washington, DC in the United States of America can feel like being the ‘Command Center of the World.’ We are surrounded by powerful intellect, unfathomable amounts of money and an unconquerable military. We are all a little like Job before he speaks to God in our reading this week; believing that we see all, we know all, and we can control all. Whining about the inconveniences, inequities and unfairness of our experiences. In our individual households we script our days with precision to ensure we maximize productivity to maintain or even build up our fortresses. This week’s service reminded me of the uncomfortable truth that this reality means very little outside of our little earthen world and that it may disappear in the blink of an eye.
Job’s reality came crashing down during his conversation with God. When presented with evidence of the sheer magnitude of God’s power and influence, Job rightly reclaimed his place as a Man without knowledge or control. For many of us, this reality is evident in our hardships. An act of violence, a devastating illness or other unexpected loss veers us quickly off course and we are left off script and out of control. In desperate attempts at comfort and healing, where do we go? I’ve seen some friends tighten their grip on what remains, struggling valiantly with all their human strength to prevent any further pain and loss. More often than not this ends as a futile effort and a life of discontentment. For my friends who have Faith, they turn their wounded hearts to Christ. And as Mother Anne so eloquently elaborated, this is where God speaks most clearly to us, in those times when our expectations, plans, and desires are thwarted, crushed, and frustrated.
Many times life in this world is a painful reality which is almost too much to bear. In my own life there have been many times when I would use any human means to gain some comfort, security and earthly peace. But as Job said to God, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2. Try as we might, we are not God’s equal, and definitely not in control. My peace lies in the knowledge that I am never truly alone struggling on this earth, and in the promise that this isn’t the only (or greatest) kingdom I will ever know.
- What did you take away from this past Sunday?
- Where have you searched for comfort during hardships in your life?
- Where can you release your grip and let God take more control in your life?