Week 19 Thursday

Where Were You?

Today’s scripture selection: Job 37-38

Key verse: Job 38:4


     The “discussion/argument” was coming to an end.  Job, suffering things he did not understand; confronted by so-called “friends” who only added insult to injury – it had all been very difficult.  And through it all, God had remained silent.

     But towards the end of the story – God finally speaks up.  And, to put it mildly, he shakes all of them to the roots of their souls.  You can almost hear the thundering skies:

     “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.”

     Yes, Job had suffered greatly.  Yes, it seemed unfair at the very least.  Yes, he was confused, and left comfortless by others.  Yes, his situation – in time – would improve.

     But for now, the thundering voice of God, had a few things to say….beginning with this question, “Where were you…?”

     It’s not a picture of God that I find very comforting.  I much prefer the God who promises to “never leave or forsake” me – the loving Good Shepherd we see often portrayed in the life of Christ.  This Old Testament God, all thunder and lightning, makes me nervous.

     Still, we should humbly listen to His voice.

     He makes a good point.  Where were we when the Creator and Sustainer of everything put things in motion?

     It’s good for us, now and then, to hush and stand in silent awe of this awesome God of ours.

     It’s right that we admit we don’t understand all the mysteries of the universe.

     It’s a spiritually healthy thing to admit that “God is God” and that God can do anything God desires.

     Then, with a healthy, respectful attitude – we can dare to ask God for some answers to all our questions.  And do you know what the good news is?

     He’ll answer them – in due time – he’ll answer them.


Prayer: Lord, you are an awesome, powerful, mysterious God.  Help me to respect and honor that fact.  And then, even with all my questions, help me to trust in your loving wisdom.  AMEN.



By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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