Every day we hear very sad reports of floods, out of control fires, tornados, hurricanes, illnesses that create personal storms, violence and more. No place on earth seems to be safe. The world is full of storms. Storms bring the question, “Where is God?”
The following is an updated revision of a blog post I did some years ago. While it centers more on nature’s storms, it also applies to personal storms. Same Questions. Same Answers from God.
A Storm Observed
“Why are there storms?” a friend asked recently. I did not have an immediate answer. But I remembered a time when there was a thunderstorm and I was brought to my knees by its Awesome Power.
I then realized it was not the storm that brought the sense of awe and wonder. It was knowing I was in The Presence of The One Who was in charge of the storm. I stood at the window and looked out for hours, not frightened, but in awe of God’s Majesty and Power. I had a small sense of how big He is and how little I am.
Job’s Personal Storm
When I was thinking about the question about storms and also my experience, I “chanced” to read Job 37 in which Elihu, Job’s friend, speaks. Job had experienced a horrible series of tragedies in his life. These tragedies were caused by satan, not God. However, satan had God’s Permission to unleash his attacks. God was assured that Job, His Servant, would stand faithful.
Job started out well, but as the attacks continued and became more vicious, he began to cave. His “friends” tried to give him advice, most of it worthless. However, one friend, Elihu, spoke The Truth to Job. He was not old in earth years. But Elihu spoke with The Wisdom of God.
Job’s Friend Speaks Truth!
Listen to Elihu:
“My heart trembles at this. Listen. Listen to the thunder of His Voice. It rolls across the heavens and His Lightening flashes out in every direction. Afterwards comes the roaring of the thunder — the tremendous Voice of His Majesty.
His Voice is glorious in the thunder. We cannot comprehend the Greatness of His Power. For He directs the snow, the showers, and storm to fall upon the earth. Man’s work stops at such a time so that all men everywhere may recognize His Power. The wild animals hide in the rocks or in their dens.
From the south comes the rain; from the north, the cold. God blows upon the rivers and even the wildest torrents freeze. He loads the clouds with moisture and then sends forth the lightening. The lightening bolts are directed by His Hand and do whatever He commands through the earth. He sends the storms as punishment or, in His Loving Kindness, to encourage.
Listen, O Job, stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God. Do you know how God controls all nature and causes the lightening to flash forth from the clouds? Do you understand the balancing of the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill? Do you know why you become warm when the south wind is blowing and everything is still? Can you spread out the gigantic mirror of the skies as He does?
You, who think you know so much, teach the rest of us how we should approach God. For we are too dull to know! With your wisdom, would we then dare to approach Him? Well, does a man wish to be swallowed alive?
For as we cannot look at the sun with its brightness when the winds have cleared away the clouds, neither can we gaze at the terrible majesty of God breaking forth upon us from heaven, clothed in dazzling splendor. We cannot imagine The Power of The Almighty and yet He is so just and merciful that He does not destroy us. No wonder men everywhere fear Him! For He is not impressed by the world’s wisest men!”
Job 37: 1-24 (The Living Bible)
It is very interesting that after this discourse by Elihu, the first verse of Job 38 records, “Then The Lord answered Job from the whirlwind.”
Could it be that The Lord finally heard some Truth from one of His earth people? Someone, who had recognized that He, The Lord God Almighty is indeed Mighty? That He, The Lord God, is Author of the storm, Controller of the storm, Director of the storm, and The One Who decides when the storm is ended.
How interesting that some good Christians resist the term that even pagans use — “the storm was an Act of God!”
God did not speak to Job from the place of silence. He spoke to Job from the center of the storm … the whirlwind itself. And so it has been with me. While I have whined and complained and tried to figure out Life’s storms, God has not been impressed.
Remember, Elihu noted that God is not impressed by even the world’s wisest men (or women). And I’m not even close to the world’s wisest!
Learning God’s Language
If I hear someone speaking French, I do not spend a lot of time pondering why they are speaking French. I know they are French and do not speak the same language I speak. I, therefore, concentrate not on why they are speaking French, but rather on the meaning of what they are saying. Should it be any different with God?
He is God. He told us plainly His Ways are not our ways.
“For My Thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My Ways,”
declares The Lord.
“As The Heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My Ways higher than your ways
and My Thoughts than your thoughts.”
God speaks a different language from mere humans. We need to learn His Language, and then we will come closer to understanding Him. Lesson One is:
Be still and know that I am God!
While we cannot control the storms of life, we can seek to understand what God is saying to us, in the midst of the storm. We can be still and know that He is God. We can be confident that He will speak … and often, from the very center of the storm, not at its end.
God Answers Questions with Questions
When God spoke to Job, it was not to answer Job’s questions. It was to question Job. I encourage you to read Job 38 – 42 and see if you can answer the questions God had for Job.
Job knew the answers to God’s questions. And the sum of all his knowing was simply God was indeed God, and he, Job was not. God was clearly on the throne and Job was on his knees, in worship.
Who is God?
Job aptly stated the cry of one for whom the storm clouds have parted and revealed not only the message, but The Messenger Himself. Job said,
“I know that You can do anything
and that no one can stop You.
You ask who it is who has so foolishly
denied Your Providence.
It is I.
I was talking about things
I knew nothing about
and did not understand,
things far too wonderful for me.
‘Listen and I will speak!
Let Me put the Questions to you!
See if you can answer them!’
But now I say,
‘I had heard about You before,
but now I have seen you …'”
Job 42: 2-5
Please pray for all those who are going through storms of any kinds right now. Pray that they will be still and know that God is God and He is very present in the storm with them. Pray that they would know God is stronger than any storm anywhere. Pray that those in a storm will listen to God and know there is no safer place to be than with Him.
And know that if you are the one going through a storm, I am praying for you right now, as I write.
And pass on this blog to others that they may know God is present with them in all His Power. Trust Him!