I Have No Idea Where God Keeps the Snow
- Betsy St. Amant
- 2016 25 Jan
God keeps using the story of Job to blow my mind. The last time God knocked my socks off via Job was a few years ago, when I realized for the first time that Satan didn’t ask for Job. Not at first.
God specifically suggested Job to Satan.
When my sister and I talked about this in depth, we were freaking out. “God threw Job under the bus!” we half-joked, because it was either laugh or cry. It changed everything. Now, not only did God allow the heartache Job went through, which is hard enough for our human minds to accept—He suggested His beloved servant go through them.
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. How had I missed such an imperative detail? At the time, it provided me with a much-needed, deeper glimpse of God’s sovereignty and purpose for us than I’d ever had before.
This week, it happened again. I’d always considered Job an innocent victim. Someone who was living righteously and it came around to bite him in the behind. To me, it was simply a story of how bad things can happen to good people. Poor Job.
I think Job would agree with me, up until Chapter 38.
And that’s when I saw it. Job wasn’t innocent at all.
Job was consumed with pride.
His friend Elihu is the first to point it out, which is refreshing after all the bad advice Job received from other friends and family. In Chapter 33, Elihu says “Surely you have spoken in my ears, and I have heard the sound of your words. You say ‘I am pure, without transgression; I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.’ Behold, in this you are not right.”
Basically, Elihu is saying to Job, “You’ve told me yourself that you’re not sinning here, and understatement of the year alert—that’s not true.”
Elihu follows up his speech in Chapters 36 and 37 with a lengthy proclamation of God’s greatness, and majesty. He gives God glory for simply Who he is, and I get the feeling he was prompting Job to do the same. Elihu was grasping something crucial that Job forgot—God is God.
In Job’s distress, He was losing perspective and clinging to what made sense to him. In his mind, he hadn’t done anything to deserve such suffering. But that’s pride. That’s self-righteous, and it’s ugly and destructive.
I’ve struggled with this same brand of self-righteousness, particularly after my divorce. In those dark days, I wrestled with the Lord on “why”. Why was this happening to me? Hadn’t I been a good Christian? Hadn’t I led friends to the Lord? Hadn’t I gone to church? Hadn’t I tried to be a good wife and mother? I did everything right, and yet I was still having to go through a divorce.
It didn’t make sense to me, because my entire focus was on me and my works. What I’d done, what I’d earned, what I deserved or didn’t deserve.
How incredibly foolish and dangerous.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how Job responded to Elihu. But it doesn’t matter, because regardless of whether Job agreed, argued, or pouted, God stepped in.
In Chapter 38, it says the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. I love that description, because that’s exactly what suffering feels like—an out-of-control whirlwind, an overwhelming tornado of heartache and destruction. I believe this verse is here to remind us that God can speak to us through anything—and that we are never alone in our suffering.
Beginning in Chapter 38, God says “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.”
(Can you even imagine God speaking that to you? I tremble at the thought!)
God continues through the next several chapters, quizzing Job with rhetorical questions and putting him in his place. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, who determined its measurements—surely you know!”
(I do believe that’s a bit of sarcasm from God!)
He goes on in. “Have you entered into the spring of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness? You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!”
God isn’t messing around here, He’s driving a point straight through to Job, and it’s one we’d be wise to listen to. He continues. “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?”
I can just imagine Job shrinking smaller and smaller in the revelation of God’s greatness. While Job never responded to Elihu, he certainly responded to God. In Chapter 42, verses 2-6, Job repents of his arrogance and pride, and lays himself low before the Almighty.
I’ve had to do the same recently—had to realize that my grasping for control and security is a form of pride, a form of self-righteousness that implies I know better than the Lord. I’ve had to come to Him in tears and admit “Lord, I have no idea where you keep the snow!”
When we focus on ourselves, pride sneaks in as an enthusiastic RSVP to our pity party.
Where are you letting pride hold you hostage? Where are you losing perspective of the fear the Lord? What are you holding onto as explanation for the hardship in your life?
What would happen if we just bowed low in humility and left our pride at the door? If we responded like Job, and switched our mutterings from “why me?” and “poor me?” to “You are God” and “You alone, Lord, are great”.
I don’t know where God keeps the snow. I don’t know how He formed the foundations of the world or coaxed light to form. I don’t know the secrets of the deepest parts of the sea. And like Job, I don’t want to.
I just want to know the One who does.
Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things - chocolate, new shoes and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. She lives in Louisiana with her adorable story-telling young daughter, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. A freelance journalist and fiction author, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is multi-published in Contemporary Romance. Her newest novel LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES releases via Zondervan Fiction in June 2015. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to the Tangled soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing and can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. You can read more from Betsy at www.betsystamant.com and www.writergetsreal.blogspot.com.
Publication date: January 25, 2016