Early November morning, the wind was blowing something fierce. I had my head down in the crook of my forearm and elbow while I waited for the sun to rise behind me. The wind stung my eyes causing them to water whenever I lifted my head to glance around. I figured I had about 10 minutes to good shooting light. Sitting in my treestand with a skirt of burlap around it helped protect me from the wind for the most part, but my neck and face was taking a beating whenever I scanned about. I was thinking about the 8 point buck I missed the night before from a different location. That was a walk-in hunt, with a buddy, on property I’ve never seen before. I took a position on the ground behind a Locust tree with a large trunk split into a ‘V’. I managed to call a nice buck right pass my tree at about 30 yards…when I bleated at him to stop I released my arrow through the ‘V’ of the tree. Problem was, he didn’t stop at the bleat but hopped forward…my arrow caught tail feathers and he was gone. Just like that. Replaying that situation over and over in my head was probably not the best medicine for a windy morning in the stand.
With my head down, I heard a ‘snort-wheeze’ from my down wind side. I looked over my shoulder and saw the biggest buck of my life walking a trail that would pass 19 yards from my stand. With no time to think, I stood up and drew my bow and tried to find this monster in the mixed light of predawn. My peep site seemed a dark spot in front of my eyes and my peripheral vision was screaming at me to lock on…QUICK. Directly in front of my stand, I bleated to stop this bruiser. He turned his head to look at me and it seemed the whole world turned with him. He was a monster…200 inches if he was an inch. I released the arrow and he bucked up in the air and ran off about 30 yards and turned to look at me. I sat back down in the stand and studied him. I started to write my acceptance speech for the Kansas State Record ceremony in my head. I watched which rise he disappeared over and marked the spot in my mind. About an hour later I recovered my arrow…sticking out of the ground 18 1/2 yards in front of the stand.
There are many things in life which cause us to ask “Why…?”
- Why does my boss treat me this way?
- Why don’t I make more money?
- Why am I disabled?
- Why did my wife leave me for another man?
- Why did my child die?
Some of these questions fill us with agony and despair. Some of these questions cause us to question…God. We need to be careful with THAT question. God exists above our understanding and our ability for comprehension. God moves and directs and acts by His accord. Certainly our prayers can influence God’s intended direction but that is more about HOW we are asking than WHAT we are asking. Remember Job…God gave permission to Satan to test him. Through the early stages of that testing, after he lost 10 children, his servants, and his possessions…the Bible says in Job 1:22, “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”
A second set of testing resulted in boils afflicting Job from the souls of his feet to the top of his head. Lets pick up the story at this point, “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:9-10
As Job’s misery continues, through the conversations with his three friends, we see Job cling to his righteousness and justification of his past actions. Job is starting to place blame and ask the question of “Why?” It is a very subtle turn, but a turn none the less. It is a turn to self-pity and pride. This angers the fourth friend named Elihu who bubbles over with zeal to rebuke Job of his twisted mind set. He says to Job in Chapter 33: 12-13, “Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this, For God is greater than man. Why do you complain against Him. That He does not give an account of all His doings?”
Elihu’s rebuke of Job goes on for 6 Chapters…and it is a smackdown of epic proportions. At this point, God decides to give answer. His answer spans 4 Chapters and is filled with questions to Job…but it starts out like this, “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” Job 38: 2-3
Can you imagine the voice of the Almighty thundering across the heavens in the midst of the whirlwind asking you this question? God’s rebuke of Job is very telling. Chapters 38 through 41 are awesome in their display of POWER…the power of God Almighty. I can imagine Job recoiling at the rebuke, lying completely flat because he can’t get any lower, cowering in fear before the display of POWER and MAJESTY of the Most High.
The questions from God must have seemed endless, “Can you do…? Where were you when…? Have you ever…? Do you know…?” The answer is ever the same…no. “No Lord…I cannot, I was not, I haven’t, I don’t know….Your ways.” Listen to what Jobs answers in Chapter 42: 1-6, Then Job answered the LORD and said, “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 declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”
Now that I see You…I retract…and repent in dust and ashes.
In John 9: 1-3, Jesus is asked a question and responds, As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
Our faith is predicated on not understanding the ways of the Almighty, yet following Him anyway. Awful things will happen to us and too our loved ones…but we follow Him anyway. Life will test us constantly with things which cause us to ask “Why”, be careful with that question…and have faith, because those circumstances are so the works of God may be displayed. We should count ourselves blessed when those ‘works’ involve us.