Here’s part of a post I began to write a while ago:
‘I’ve been following the journey of Job lately, and eventually I came upon these words: And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm – Job 38:1 – The Message Bible.
Before I read further, I focussed on the word ‘storm’, and was reminded of another man to whom God spoke – Elijah. I looked up the First Book of Kings, where Elijah’s storm experience is recorded. You can read it in chapter 19, verses 9-19. We find these words: Then the word of God came to him.
What did God say? ‘So Elijah, what are you doing here?’ As if God didn’t already know! When he asks a question like that, he’s usually wanting us to think about our situation. But Elijah gave an answer that showed he wasn’t aware of his surroundings; he was still thinking about how lonely and sad he was. Read it and see.
God had taken him all that way so he could tell him something special, in a place of revelation, at God’s own special mountain where he’d talked with Moses. Then he sent him back to where he’d come from! But only after he’d given him a vital learning experience.
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Well, that’s as far as I got with the draft of that post. I’ve now moved on from Job, and I’m up to the Psalms. Today I read this:
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt – Psalm 119:11 – The Message.
In the course of the day, I’ve thought of that verse often. I’m grateful to be able to read the prayers that many mighty ones lifted up to God. Some were cries for help, others were gratitude for amazing blessings, and some, like the one above, were statements of faith.
Job, Elijah, and many others found themselves in places where they had to draw on resources they’d laid up for the future. Perhaps they hoped they might never need them. Here’s another version of that same statement, including more of the context.
I have tried my best to find you—don’t let me wander off from your instructions. I have thought much about your words and stored them in my heart so that they would hold me back from sin. Blessed Lord, teach me your rules – The Living Bible.
Job or Elijah could have spoken these words. They were familiar with the storm. And they knew God.
I now stand in a stormy place, along with everyone in our world. Today I’m seeing things through a different prism than I was back then. How will I react? How are others dealing with the terrible, frightening aspect that the world has taken on? How many are trying to find God’s rules for living: the promises he’s given us for help in our times of standing against the elements, the strong winds that can easily blow us into a place we never expected? What warranties can I grasp in that ‘vault of my heart’ to sustain me in this hour of trouble? The ones I’ve laid up in my personal bank?
Here’s one. Jesus said it to all who were laid low. If you’re burdened in this period where the world is reeling, take it as your own and he will make it happen. It’s true!
Come to Me, you who are weary and heavy laden. Let me give you rest ~ Matthew 11:28
What a wonderful guarantee! The Lord speaks quietly, confidently and lovingly when the storms buffet us. We can always trust him.