Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where Were You?

I opened my Bible today and read this:
This is what the LORD says -
  your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: 
I am the LORD,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself...  (Isaiah 44:24)
God ever reminding me that He is God and I am not.

One of my favorite children's songs is by Justin Roberts called "Where Were You." It is taken from Job 38 - 42 when God responds to Job's cries for help. I tried to find a video of Justin singing the song on YouTube but couldn't but you can see a church worship band/choir perform it here.
Where were you, when I laid the earth's foundations and where were you...
I need to be reminded, often, that I wasn't there. I wasn't there when God made all things, when he stretched out the heavens and spread out the earth. I am a creation. I was made by a creator.

There is a design, a plan, a story being told. But I may not have all the details. And I may not ever get all the back story, all the explanations I seek.

I remember when I was studying prayer to teach at Bible study I spent time considering where complaining fit into prayer. I wrote about it here. I shared what I had discovered in the story of Job.

Job, a man so faithful that God allowed Satan to test him, had every reason to complain before God. And he did. Chapter 10 of Job is full of his complaints.
I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint.
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul...
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands
and favor the designs of the wicked?...
Your hands fashioned and made me;
and now you have destroyed me altogether.
Why did you bring me out of the womb?...

Packer and Nystrom write, "Is this the same Job that God described to Satan as "my servant, ... a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil" (Job 1:8). Yes, but this is Job distraught by grief and human pain, goaded to despair by his well meaning friends, speaking his words of complaint to the safest possible source: God."
And then...

Job cried out to God asking for answers. Read Job 38 - 42 when you have a minute. It is powerful stuff. It is God's answer to Job. My favorite part is when God asks, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations?" Those four chapters remind me every time I read them that God is God. He is the creator and I am His creation. But it also shows me that God listens to His children's complaints and hears us.
"Those who have read the end of Job's book will know that God did indeed meet with Job as Job had invited him to do. But explanations are lacking even then; God does not need to explain. Still, he responded to Job's complaing - and Job was content." (Packer & Nystrom)
Some days I need to be reminded. I wasn't there. But I'm here now. I am part of the story.

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