Raging winds and destructive twist of weather can rip life to shreds in a matter of breaths and we are powerless in its wake. I have wondered about storm chasers. I mean, who in their right mind would put themselves in the path of a storm?! So I asked. A friend of mine chases storms and her answer left me on my knees right next to Job as God began to speak.
She said: “My fear gets tangled up in the excitement, I have to step back and trust. The power and energy displayed in a severe storm is remarkable. It humbles you.”
The power surges in unexpected ways, ordinary becomes extraordinary. Mess becomes majestic. You are left on your knees in humble abandon, nothing you thought was sturdy remains, except the glory of God.
And this is where Job meets the great I AM. In the storm, humbled and on his knees.
The whole book of Job was about this moment right here. The waves are crashing against the boat, the balance of all you cling to is jolting to and fro. But all that matters is where your eyes focus. Job had been searching, begging, for an encounter with Almighty God.
And He comes. Right there in the midst of the storm.
Not after the storm. He didn’t arrive on scene with the Red Cross truck and a caravan of clean-up crew. No. God showed Himself in the storm, in the midst of the raging thoughts and tormenting emotions. God revealed Himself right there, and Job was looking for Him.
Where else could he go?
I didn’t see it at first. For a long time I would read God’s response to Job and wonder what He was really talking about – God’s answers in these last chapters didn’t seem to answer Job’s pleas.
Have you ever gotten all worked up about a meeting with your boss? You thought it was going to be about this one thing, all the signs over the last so many days were confirming your suspicions. You rehearse your rebuttals in the mirror, you call your bestie for prayer, you go over again and again all of the most recent text threads and email exchanges. You ponder the why’s and the how’s and what’s. You sweat. You pray. And when you finally sit down for the meeting you find out it was nothing like you expected, not even close, because it was over the top more?
I wonder if that’s what Job was feeling as God’s voice echoed through the thunder? Because as God speaks, the subject is not what Job expected. He expected God to come in and justify the trial he’d been under, justify it with an explanation.
Instead, God just put His glory on display.
Job wasn’t perfect. Blameless yes, perfect no. So in the midst of all of this glory, Job repents. I think that’s a natural response to facing the glory of God, to bow low. But Job also discovers something. There is a purpose here. God is sovereign over light and dark, He is majestic beyond understanding — even in the storm. Even when the circumstances are a mess of things and don’t line up with anyone’s ideals. Even when the heavy dark clouds stretch in every direction, not even a mirage in sight. God is still sovereign. His glory can still outweigh even the most torrential dark.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.