Archive for the ‘Job’ Category

Cosmic joy

April 21st, 2016 by Maureen

A home for old starsWho laid [the earth’s] cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:7

Once this creation was a twinkle in the Father’s eye, spoken into existence by the Word, and celebrated by stars and angels. When the Word was made flesh, heaven and nature sang again. Jesus restored the creation and through Him we are reconciled to the intentions of the Creator. As we surrender areas of our lives to reconciliation, as we recognize and experience personal restoration, we inspire joyful songs of stars and joyful shouts of angels. We are cosmically valued and loved.

Lord, I love You too.

Job 38 and Psalm 104: It’s not just what they say and it’s the tone

March 19th, 2016 by Maureen

Who by wisdom can count the clouds, and who can tip over the water jars of heaven, when the dust hardens into a mass, and the clumps of earth stick together? Job. 38: 37

You [God] water the hills from Your chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. Ps. 104:13

There is a cool correlation between Job 38 and Psalms 104. In Job 38 God asks a series of rhetorical questions concerning His sovereignty and power. In wonder and delight, the psalmist in 104 answers those questions acknowledging God’s sovereignty and His joy. Up until chapter 38, Job is 37 chapters of Job’s misery and whining punctuated by Job and his friends trying to figure out why his life went to hell in a hand-basket. They seek to assign blame for the mess, mostly assuming God has withdrawn from Job because Job failed to adhere to some religious requirement. They conjecture about what Job needs to do to regain God’s favor, and hopefully get back all he has lost too. Then God shows up in Job 38 and basically schools Job and his friends for pontificating over things they don’t understand and, God never explains the “why.” The tone of Job is anguish and frustration. The tone of Psalm 104 is awe and joy. Accepting the ambiguity and messiness that happens in life and focusing on God’s love, power, and grace rather than seeking to explain or somehow control circumstances might lead to a happier, less stressful tone in our own lives.

Lord, Your glory endures and I will rejoice with You in Your works.

Is God oversimplified?

January 24th, 2016 by Maureen

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? Job 11:7

Faith accepts the inexplicable and ambiguous tension of God’s goodness in this imperfect human existence. Trust embraces the uncontrollable mystery of God’s deep, wide, long, high (perhaps border-less) love when our ability to understand and explain fails. Love tolerates complexities and contradictions created by interpretations. Being able to define, understand and explain something in clear, concrete terms gives us a sense of control. Following rules, evaluating behaviors, and creating ways to measure compliance provides a kind of certainty. Are our attempts to explain God motivated by a need for control and certainty or a need for a transcendent relationship with God beyond our own conceptions?

Lord, I don’t want to limit You.

Singing with the angels

December 22nd, 2015 by Maureen

Where were you when I laid the foundation of earth…when the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:1.7

Angels saw the world made and saw it fall. No human can fully relate to the amazement and delight of angels; and it seems unlikely that angels, having never been human, could fully grasp Jesus’ humanity; or that angels, who are continuously exposed to His glory and love, could fully grasp human separation from Him. No wonder they sang. They were witnessing the beginning of the restoration of the world that they had rejoiced at when it began. They were witnessing the God they had always worshiped become human in the very creation they’d watched Him make.

Lord, I add my voice to the voice of angels.

 

Awesome wonders

March 16th, 2015 by Maureen

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto you. Who does not know in all these that the hand of the Lord has done this? Job 12:7-10

Nature is a breathtaking revelation of God as artist, scientist, engineer, poet, musician, healer, and so much more. If man is made in His image, the rest of nature drips with His creativity. It’s good for us to get out into nature. The God we experience there restores a sense of wonder and wonder is a critical aspect of how we approach worship, prayer, study, and theology itself.

Lord, thank you for all Your hands have made.

Ye who sang creation’s story now proclaim Messiah’s birth

December 19th, 2014 by Maureen

Where were you when I laid the foundation of earth…when the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:1.7

Angels saw the world made and saw it fall. No human can fully relate to the amazement and delight of angels; and having never been human it seems unlikely that angels could fully grasp Jesus’ humanity. No wonder they sang. They were witnessing the beginning of the restoration of the world they had rejoiced at when it began. They were witnessing the God they had always worshiped become part of the very creation they’d watched Him make.

Lord, I come and worship.

Let heaven and nature sing

December 2nd, 2014 by Maureen

Who laid [the earth’s] cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:7

Once this creation, our earth and the humans who would someday populate it, was a twinkle in the Father’s eye, spoken into existence by the Word, and celebrated by stars and angels. When the Word was made flesh, heaven and nature sang again. Jesus restored the creation and through Him we are reconciled to the intentions of the Creator. As we surrender areas of our lives to reconciliation, as we recognize and experience personal restoration, we once again become the reason for the songs of stars and shouts of angels.

Lord, thank You for the joy we have because You sent a Savior.

 

 

God of wonders

May 31st, 2013 by Maureen

stop and consider God’s wonders. Job 37:14b

When we are blessed with the opportunity to stop God’s wonders become easier to see. Vacation is an opportunity to notice and consider those wonders. There is finally time to do something new, learn something new, explore new places and meet new people. There is also an opportunity go deeper into things that may have become so familiar that we don’t see the wonder in them anymore.

Lord, show me Your wonders.

Goodwill toward us

December 16th, 2012 by Maureen

What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:6-7

Perhaps the same stars that sang and the same angels that shouted when God created the world sang and shouted when Jesus was born in the manger and when He rose from the grave. In the midst of so much trouble God reminded Job that He has had things under control since He made the world…and His intentions for us made stars sing and angels rejoice.

Lord, help those who ask why to experience how wide, how wide, long, high, and deep Your love is for them.

Who’s the boss?

May 21st, 2012 by Maureen

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

God isn’t a helper who picks up the slack when we can’t handle a job by ourselves.  He is the Father who could do the job better alone but lets us help because we pick up His character and vision when we work for Him.  God gets to be the boss who defines the mission, assigns the tasks, and sets the agenda because He is the reason we live and breathe.

What’s on the agenda for today, Boss?

Off-roading

April 22nd, 2012 by Maureen

Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Job 38:36

God is not the source of every impulse but there are times that we instinctively know, in ways we can never explain logically, that He is inviting us to take a different route than planned.  Not every journey can be directed by GPS along an efficient expressway.  Sometimes God invites us off-roading and we intuitively  know we are supposed to go.

Lord, help me recognize and respond to the intuitions and instincts You’ve put in my heart and mind.

God has friends but not peers

January 30th, 2012 by Maureen

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know so much. Job 38:4

Just because we enjoy a close and loving relationship with the Creator of the universe does not make us His equals. If we actually believe He is all knowing, all powerful, and good then He deserves our trust and cooperation rather than resistance and questions. If we actually believe He made us, along with everything else, we should be awestruck, humbled, and honored by His presence in our lives.

You’re God and I’m not. Really not. Forgive me when I act like I am.

Considering creation

January 16th, 2012 by Maureen

Consider the lilies…Matt. 6:28, Luke 12:27;                                                          Consider the ravens…Luke 12:24;                                                                                    Consider the ant…Prov. 6:6;                                                                                         Consider the heavens…Ps. 8:3;                                                                                          Consider the wondrous works of God…Job 37:14

Jesus, David, Solomon, and Moses all found nature worthy of consideration. In Rom. 1:20 Paul points out that God’s own attributes are reflected in His creation. It is full of  intricate design and pattern, beauty, wisdom and wonder. As we consider the creation we experience its infinite, glorious, creative, eternal, beautiful, wise and wonderful Maker.
O Lord, my God, in awesome wonder I consider all Your hands have made.

Just shut up

June 29th, 2011 by Maureen

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 40:4-5

The desire for a complete, linear explanation that makes sense can lead right past God’s honest truth  Sometimes we just have to stop trying to figure out “hows” and “whys” and trust that God is good and wise and loving and let that be enough. Wonder and obedience lead to truth and wisdom that defy human logic or easy categorization.

Lord, I think I need to spend more time with my mouth shut.

As bad as it gets

May 1st, 2011 by Maureen

Your words have supported those who were falling… But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Job 4:4b-5

All over the world today people are facing devastating loss in the wake of disasters, many with inspiring, authentic trust in God. Offering compassion, comfort and help is easy, but I wonder how well I would deal if I were on the receiving end. If everything we know about God is just as true on the worst day of our lives as it is on the best, then I don’t want to wimp out when trouble comes to me.

Lord, calm fear and build faith so that You are glorified even when we are devastated.

Can you smell what the Lord is cooking?

April 2nd, 2011 by Maureen

God is leading you away from danger, Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food. Job 36:16

Trusting through periods of  distress is like being able to smell a savory meal on the table at home while we’re still stuck in traffic. In order to keep following we have to know that God is good and that His intentions for us and for those we love are always motivated by His love for us. Knowing this helps us to keep following and to stay optimistic so that when the present is hard and the future is uncertain His joyful table is still tangible.

Lord, I’m starting to smell what You’re cooking.