Friday, June 11, 2010

Wrestling alligators

I spent a chunk of this week working on a good-sized story for the newspaper.
It was a lot more time than I'd normally spend on an article, but it's a pretty important story.
The story had multiple sources with very different opinions and I had lots of statistics tossed at me.
As I worked to put the story together, it began to feel like I was wrestling with an alligator.
The Lord - as always - was faithful and helped me finish the piece.
Something else interesting happened.
Just the other night I found myself nosing through the book of Job and I meandered over to chapter 41.
In this chapter, God asks Job if he can pull a leviathan with a fishhook or tie his tongue down with a rope. By the time we get to verse 21 we learn more about the leviathan as we read: "His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth."
What's a leviathan?
In my Bible's study notes it says that scholars often identify the leviathan as a giant crocodile or a whale. The Full Life Study Bible says that by these illustrations, God is emphasizing that if Job couldn't subdue such a great creature of the world (along with another thought to be a hippopotamus) he was in no position to question and counsel God.
I guess God was trying to tell Job that he needed to trust him - no matter what.
Boy, that's a big order - especially in light of everything Job lost (all his children and livestock).
But if we read the end of the chapter, we learn that the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first and that Job died "old and full of years."
I guess this could be considered a lesson in trust for all of us. I don't know how many of us will die old and full of years.
But the years we live can be full if we live them in Christ - our Lord and Savior and Redeemer and Friend.
And someone who's there - no matter what kind of alligator or crocodile or leviathan we're wrestling.



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