When I was a kid I thought my life was so difficult. I had to manage schoolwork, friends, home life, and all the challenges of growing up. All my parents had to do was go to work, come home to eat, and sleep. How unfair that their lives were so easy and my life so difficult!
Of course I now know better. Adult life is filled with paychecks too small, mortgages too big, broken air conditioners, car maintenance, pet feedings, persnickety neighbors, the IRS, and that’s just life without kids. Add kids to the mix and manage doctor’s visits, school supplies and paperwork, extra-curricular activities, extra laundry, misplaced everything, scraped knees, teaching routines, throwing routines out the window, fish to guinea pigs to kitties to puppies, broken stuff, and drama – oh, so much drama! Now I long for those days when my life was all about schoolwork, friends, home life, and the challenges of growing up.
Of course, all of life’s challenges are challenging when you are in the midst of them. Kids have tough lives when they are kids. Adults have tough lives when they are adults. We face our challenges with the maturity and experience we have – nothing more, nothing less.
Job complained that his life was so difficult. For Job, it was a difficult life. Then God countered. God pointed out just how much God has to manage. Could Job even imagine a fraction of the stuff God has to deal with every single day? No, of course not. But thankfully, Job does not have to manage the seasons, the skies, all of creation. Job only has to manage Job’s challenges. And like a parent that helps manage their kids’ lives, God helps us manage ours as well. As for me, I will rejoice that God does the heavy lifting. The challenges of my little life are enough for me.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and it is dyed like a garment. Light is withheld from the wicked, and their uplifted arm is broken.
“Have you entered into the springs 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? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!
“Have you entered 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? What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
“Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass?
“Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind? Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?
“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?”