Sitting here, waiting for Hurricane Irma to traverse the length of Florida, I couldn’t help (because I’m a pastor) think of Job’s encounter with God in a whirlwind in the bible (Job 38:1).
Job had three really good questions for God while he was suffering from the loss of his family and health. His so-called friends tried to help him figure things out, but they weren’t much help.
Job asked, “Why was I even born? If I have to suffer this much, why didn’t I just die at birth?” (Job 3:11) Great question. If life includes suffering – and it usually does – then why even bother? I know from my own turning forty experience that if you hurt bad enough, you just want it to be over.
Second question: “How can you be in the right before God?” (Job 9:32) Job’s well-meaning friends offered him their best advice: “You must have really screwed up. Just turn back to God and get past this.” Job knew he hadn’t done anything to deserve what he had to go through. And how are you going to get in good standing with God anyway? He does what he wants. What chance do you even have to argue your case with God?
“If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14) Good question. If life is hard and too quickly comes to an end, what’s the use? Cut down a tree and it grow back. Terminate a life, and that’s it. Game over. No second chance. No redo.
God answers God from a whirlwind. (Was it a hurricane? Or a tornado?) And he simply asks a series of questions. “Do you know how this world works, Job? Were you there at creation, at its inception? Do you even have a clue?”
So when the whirlwind comes, we remember that He is God and we are not. We can’t do much to control the weather. All we can do is flee or hide. Our vote doesn’t count. We just ride it out the best we can.
But we know why we were born. We were created for good works (Eph. 2:10). We’ll have plenty of chance to do that on Tuesday, when recovery begins and we can be there for our neighbors.
We can be right before God, but only by faith. “We maintain that a person is justified by faith” (Romans 3:28).
And, there is life beyond the grave. The Lord will come, the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
So let the hurricane remind you of our Lord’s power, grace and return. It’s one of the best object lessons ever!