"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind..." (Job 38:1 NKJV)

Life happens. Storms happen. And though we would love to believe that this new year will indeed be "happy", we know that things won't always go as we wish them to go. Illness comes. Financial problems arise. There are problems with the kids, problems in our relationships, problems with our neighbors. We are not sheltered from any of these problems, and in fact, we may be going through them right now, and it is at such times that we need to remember Job:

Job's friends thought they had all the answers for Job. The only thing Job needed to do was to repent. Job, on the other hand, had no idea what he needed to repent of. He, too, was sure he had all the answers, but things weren't following the "proper course". All five men, Job, his three friends and the fourth, younger man, Elihu, were certain they had complete understanding of God.

Eventually God did answer them all, and I find it very interesting to see that the Bible records: "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind..."

What is a whirlwind?

It's a kind of storm. In fact, some translations use the word "storm" instead of whirlwind. In other words, in the midst of Job's "storm", God reached out and spoke to him.

Why?

Though this is speculation, I would suggest that perhaps He used this opportunity because He knew He would have Job's complete attention!

You see, Job, though righteous in God's eyes, thought he had all the answers. Had it not been for the "storm" in his life, would he have ever realized that he didn't know everything there was to know about God? Who knows.

Now I'm not saying this is the reason Job was allowed to suffer, for the Bible records that Satan brought this on Job to "prove" to the universe that people only worshiped God when times were good. Yet God uses all things for good ("And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Rom 8:28), and He used the storms of Job's life to speak to him, to show him that he didn't have all the answers, to help Job understand that God is so much bigger than anything we can comprehend or imagine. In the midst of Job's storm, God spoke.

As you enter this new year, you will go through storms. In fact, you may already be going through pretty tough times. I encourage you to take a moment to stop and listen, for God spoke to Job through a whirlwind, and in the same manner, He will speak to us in our storms.

I believe Job was a little surprised by what God said, for his response shows he has been humbled: "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.' I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2-6)

Would Job have had such a reaction had he not been in the midst of a major storm in his life? I don't know. But I know that God will use the storms of our lives to help us to learn more about who He really is, to help us to grow our faith, to help us to learn to depend upon Him. For when we begin to learn these things, we find the true happiness in life.

Going through stormy times? Are the waters looking pretty rough? Don't forget: "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind..." (Job 38:1 NKJV)

Happy New Year!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.