Too wonderful for me.
In my mind waiting rooms are among the most descriptive images of exponential times. No, nothing is usually moving in the stillness of a waiting room. Velocity isn't a problem here. There is a careful awareness that rapid movement will ignite the anxieties smoldering in the occupants hearts. As a result the pace is often sedate. Phone pulses and internet sounds, a door opening, the professional voice on the loud speaker system, all inject momentary alertness in those waiting. Whether for the next flight, a doctor's surgical analysis, a critical job interview, or a conference with the IRS, the air hangs heavy in that room. There are expectations, plans, hopes and desires under every surface. On the outside, there is frustration, perhaps anxiety, worry, maybe prayer. It's a place needing answers. And, most of those waiting want their objective to happen right now.
At long last God spoke to Job. Chapters 38 through 41 record God's Word to this righteous yet anxious Old Testament hero. God challenged Job, chastised him, corrected many of his assumptions, and informed him of his place in the greater scheme of God's plans. The opening paragraph of these four chapters provides the tone of God's instruction to Job. He told him to stand up like a man and began asking questions that would clarify the perquisites of God and the limited nature of man.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens
counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and
you make it known to me.
Job 38: 1-3, ESV
You can scroll through these chapters and note the rhetorical nature of the questions God posed to Job. Every single question could have been answered with a definitive "no" by his righteous but frustrated servant. They are mostly arranged around God's majesty in creation. The very first question, listed above, set the stage for all the rest. Who was Job to question the absolute Sovereign rule of this Creator God? They surely must have been sobering moments for Job. No, he did not lay the foundations of the earth or mark of the earth's dimensions. No, he had never given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place. In Chapter 40 God announced harder words from out of the storm---
Brace yourself like a man; Would you condemn me to justify yourself.? Do you have an
arm like God's, can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and
splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look
at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush
the wicked where they stand.
Job 40:7-12, ESV
You get the picture? God's Words to job challenged his concept of God, what it means to fear God, and God's justice in dealing with sinful man. The length and breadth of the book of Job had been about Job's righteousness and what he deserved by living such a blessed life. God's Words to Job brought him down a few notches and elevated the glory of our generous, gracious Heavenly Father.
The result is Chapter 42. It's opening words are thrilling, chill bump time for our species. The author wrote----
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is
this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not
understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I
will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the
ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42: 2-6, ESV
Among his lessons that day Job learned that he just didn't know everything. He had entertained counsel without knowledge and uttered words that he didn't understand. Then there was the marvelous confession that moves me deeply---"things too wonderful for me, which I did not know" (verse 3). Then, he confessed that before this encounter he had only heard of God, but now he knew him face to face.
Yes, I truly want my tree to grow more patience as a fruit of the Spirit. Yes, I know only God can give me the faith and trust to overcome this stubborn wait problem, More than anything, however, I want the daily reminder that I don't know very much, that there are many things too wonderful for me, and that I must fear and trust God to guide me through my waiting room experiences.
Wow. Too wonderful for me.