On December 26 a portion of Rowlett, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, experienced the catastrophic destruction of what was reported to be an EF-3 tornado. The day after the storm I watched a newsman interview a victim of this devastating weather event. At first the man smiled as he answered the interviewer's questions, but in the middle of his answering he turned and looked at his loss, and his voice broke as he began to cry. I was moved with compassion by his heartbreak. Like many others in his community, within a few seconds this man lost most of if not everything he owned.
I have been reading the book of Job, and as I watched the man in the interview express his sorrow I couldn't help but correlate his plight to Job's. Within what appears to be a few moments of time Job lost his livestock, his servants, and his children to raiders, fire from heaven, and a great wind. (See Job 1:13-19.)
I learn much every time I read Job's story, but his story has always been a strange one to me. I inevitably step away from reading it with a multitude of questions. Last night as I read God's response to Job I was humbled. (See Job chapters 38 through 41.) I was dismayed by my own inadequacy yet enthralled by the all emcompassing power of God. As I always am, I was left speechless.
As I contemplated what words to use to express my thoughts for today I understood, when compared to what God has to say, what I have to say isn't worth much. I took God's questions to Job personally. Who am I to think I have any answer? Was I there when God laid the foundation of the earth?
There is much I cannot explain, but there is much for which I have sought explanation. I hunger for answers to what I don't understand, and I have been asking God a lot of questions over the past three years. He has responded to most of them, but there are a few He has yet to clarify. This current portion of my journey with the Lord has taught me to be careful of my need for answers. Though it is right to seek understanding, I have learned if I'm not careful I will become more dependent upon the answer I am seeking than I am on God who gives the answer. So I am learning to be content with simply trusting God's character and sovereignty. It is difficult.
I can't explain why those from Rowlett suffered loss while I lost nothing. I live in Mesquite, which isn't very far from where the tornado touched down. Before the tornado hit the weather man reported it as headed towards where I live, but it veered away instead. I don't understand why. Though I do believe there are times when God protects, I don't know if this was God's protection of me or not. Who am I compared to those who lost so much? I do know both good things and bad things happen to everyone, and I know God is sovereign.
After Job received the news of his losses the Bible says, "Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job 1:20-22, ESV).
While scrolling my Facebook newsfeed I noticed a picture of some of the destruction the tornado left in its wake. Someone helping with clean-up found a decorative pillow in the midst of the debris of one of the houses that had been destroyed. The pillow was inscribed with these words: "May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be."
Life is strange! Though life is often unexplainable, God remains worthy of our worship, and His name is still worthy to be blessed. No matter what happens, He is always righteous and just and in control. In our reliance on God, even in the midst of chaos, we can trust we are exactly where we are meant to be.