The area around Homer, Alaska, where my son resides, has been pounded by rains recently, causing rivers to rise and flood the land. Winds have been demonizing southern Alaska, too. In fact, strong winds in the area of Katmai have been blowing ash from the infamous, 1912 volcano across Cook Inlet into Homer. Imagine! Nature from 100 years past brings havoc today.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Nature can be noisy. During a heavy rain and windstorm, we have to shout to be heard. In the 1920s when grasshoppers invaded the prairies, the noise of their wings and chirping made it impossible to hear anyone speak. A tornado’s fury is also noisy, often sounding like a freight train.
Other outwardly quiet things can be noisy, too, to our internal ear. We all face life-changing storms: death of a loved one, divorce, disease, job suspension, or other losses. During those times, we don’t hear much of what goes on around us but only the roar of the storms.
The Old Testament man, Job, faced the same situation when God allowed Satan to take everything away from him: his extensive property and means of support, his servants, and his children. Though this righteous man never cursed God, his voice became filled with complaint, doubt, and anguish.
“Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,” Job said. “I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him … But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23: 3, 8-10 in part)
Unsure yet still trusting, Job hung onto his weakened faith. If we were in the same situation, would we cling to our faith? Or would we question God? How can You do this to me, Lord? I’m a good person. Aren’t You a God of love? Why does bad stuff happen to good people? Am I such a sinner that You’re shutting me out from Your blessings? Where are You, Lord? I can’t hear You anymore. Where’s the justice?
Job’s story shows him as a person just like us, with emotions and questions that we struggle with every day. The book teaches us that there’s nothing wrong in asking God questions.
Like Job’s, our questions and complaints in the midst of trials may become such a roar in our internal ears that we can’t hear God’s voice, either. How shall we unstop our ears from the noisy din of suffering and anguish?
One way is to consciously choose to submit to God as sovereign and almighty— accepting by faith, however weak, that He has a good plan for us. His plans are always good, though during life’s storms we can’t see them completed. We can only trust.
Lord, keep our internal ears free from the noise of our complaints, doubts, and anguish that come from life’s storms. We want, and need, to hear Your clear voice through Your Word and Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.