In 2019 I spent most of my time in my personal development entrenched in the book of Job. I was drawn to it mainly because LOSS has been a word I’ve familiarized myself with too often. Losing people, possessions, relationships, things that “have always been” was a constant theme for me that year. So naturally, I gravitated towards a man who experienced this theme of loss all too deeply, and more than I could honestly ever fathom.
It’s kind of like when you buy a new car. Once you own a new (or new to you vehicle) you recognize other vehicles like yours on the road and in the parking lots. While it’s not the same exact VIN number, you recognize the vehicle and the similar traits and details. This has been the case for me. With loss or hardships, it has been easier for me to recognize the pain and agony of others.
I cannot even count the times I said, “MAN— JOB!,” expressing my pain for him as I read the thoughts, conversations, and responses throughout the book. I was talking with a friend after a ministry planning meeting and sharing with her how the words of Job have had to marinate within me over time. I was explaining to her how I read a line and then would have to journal and then take a couple of days to process what I read. It’s not because I couldn’t have read more. It’s because I needed those words to get inside my heart before I could even digest what was to come next. I needed to be mentally and emotionally present as I continued.
And as I was reading in Chapter 40, I felt like these words were all too real as I read them.
Job is at a place where he still believes in God. He acknowledges His presence and existence but is very jaded about His justice. Have you been there? I have. Far too many times. I never wavered in my love for Him. But my attitude wasn’t exactly cupcakes and rainbows. It was more out of duty and because I feared disappointing Him and/or others.
In Chapter 40, Job’s response is one of defeat. He feels next to nothing and responds to God as a child would who isn’t getting their way. Or the way I feel when coffee isn’t present— “NO coffee?!?! Fine, I guess water will do (insert eye roll & complete disappointment).” He tells God that he feels insignificant and that what was left of him in a fight is gone. This response is too good. He tells Job to;
“…look at Behemoth, which I made along with you. He eats grass like cattle. Look at the strength of his back and the power in the muscles of his belly. He stiffens his tail like a cedar tree; the tendons of his thighs are woven firmly together. His bones are bronze tubes; his limbs are like iron rods. He is the foremost of God’s works; only His Maker can draw the sword against him. The hills yield food for him, while all sorts of animals play there. He lies under the lotus plants, hiding in the protection of marhy reeds. Lotus plants cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. Though the river rages, Behemoth is unafraid; he remains confident, even if the Jordan surges up to his mouth.”
God continues the conversation in Chapter 41 to use a Leviathan as an example. He describes these two monstrous creatures and notes the details of their power and their might. In Jewish culture, the Behemoth and Leviathan were scary animals–monsters, if you will. He reminds Job that “whatever is under heaven is mine.” God describes the makeup of the Behemoth, the strength, the one who provides shelter, the one who provides food, IT’S ALL BY HIM. And God even reminds Job that when the river rages, the Behemoth isn’t scared— instead he remains confident. A WHOLE RIVER could rise up in his mouth and he says the Behemoth will put all faith in God.
That’s testimony. That’s the power of God. WHATEVER IS… IT’S HIS. So when you’re feeling powerless, feeling LESS than, or don’t want to face God because you’ve felt like he’s moved on or changed the conversation– He hasn’t. He’s your source of life and God made us to withstand anything T H R O U G H Him. He made us with the makeup of Behemoth. And WHATEVER IT IS… We’re HIS. When the river rages, He’s your comfort, your shelter(like the lotus plants), and your Creator. Remain confident my friends, you aren’t alone. And maybe just maybe you’re walking through this now to recognize it in a loved one later and you can remind them, “WHATEVER IS, IT’S HIS.”