these are but the fringes

He stretches the northern [skies] over empty space;

He hangs the earth on nothing.

He enfolds the waters in His clouds, yet the clouds do not burst beneath their weight.

He obscures the view of [His] throne, spreading His cloud over it.

He laid out the horizon on the surface of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

The pillars [that hold up] the sky tremble, astounded at His rebuke.

By His power He stirred the sea, and by His understanding He crushed Rahab.

By His breath the heavens gained their beauty; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

These are but the fringes of His ways; how faint is the word we hear of Him! Who can understand His mighty thunder? (Job 26:7-14).

These words comforted me, strangely, last night. I’d just finished venting frustration in my journal when I read them. I want to understand what God is doing in my life, and have felt like He’s refusing to give me a clue. I catch glimpses of Him here and there, but haven’t felt the close attachment of the recent past. Life feels “blah,” or stress-filled, or melancholy, and I guilt myself because I feel like I should understand and be happy with whatever’s going on, but it’s felt instead like chaos. I’ve second-guessed. I’ve questioned. I’ve wondered. I still wonder…

But this chapter, in Job of all books, is reassuring. Every day, I see the work of creation God spoke into existence. Every day, I see pieces of His character in people around me. Every day, I live with the knowledge of His ultimate sacrifice of love. The awe of these verses reminds me that these things should never grow familiar, dull, and commonplace to me. I cannot grasp God’s entire plan or His entire character or His entire love because He wants it that way. Because He wants me to live in awe of Him, unable to contain Him within the four walls of my limited understanding.

I will continue my search for wisdom. I still want to understand my life and His ways. But I’ll remember that even the deepest wisdom and knowledge I can gain on earth will be only the fringes. How faint is the word I hear of Him… until I see Him face to face.

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