God said, “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? … Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!” - Job 38:19 & 21 (NIV)
An adjunct professor friend told me her faculty is full of rampant speculation about what’s next in response to the pandemic. Tenured folks saying she’ll be out of a job by the end of the year – no, the end of the summer! – without any more information than she has.
I assured her the church is the same. So many commentaries rushing to break the bad news: In-person worship won’t return until 2022! No group singing for a generation! The Passing of the Peace is dead!
And, who knows, maybe it’s all true. But who knows?
Do you know?
This is God’s question to Job, asked with an ungodly amount of sarcasm. “Surely you know, you have lived so many years!” says the Creator of the universe.
This divine shade is meant to humble Job. To point up his unknowing. To stop him from writing think pieces.
But that’s not all it does. It also points him toward the One who does know the abode of light. Who has lived so many years. Who is life.
It’s comforting to pretend to know. To be the first to say the difficult thing. It gives the illusion of control. If I know, maybe it won’t hurt so much. I can be prepared. I won’t have to rely on anyone else.
But do you know?
If not, God’s answer to Job is to let the unknowing (and the fear and anxiety it produces) drive you toward the One on whom you can rely, the One who is life.
God, I know…I need you.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.