Nothing's Too Hard for God

Job 40: 1 And the LORD said to Job: 2 “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” 3 Then Job answered the LORD: 4 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer thee? I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” 6 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: 7 “Gird up your loins like a man; I will question you, and you declare to me. 8 Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified? 9 Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?

A friend is dying. If I had written what was on my heart, six months ago, I would have revealed an inclination toward rumbling with my God, the One with a voice that can thunder.

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD: 2 “I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ 5 I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

It is better this way, this despising myself. But far better to have repented. It was arrogant pride which demanded answers from her Creator, and mine, as if he owed an answer to my question, “Why, Lord…..why her….”.

It was self-pity that laid me low. It would be dishonest for me to say otherwise, for this was a friendship like no other – a once in a lifetime blessing – that will leave a large, empty void. I know, this is the part I should recite a verse about the Lord being completely sufficient and adequate to meet all my needs. In good reformed tradition, following after Luther and Calvin, I should make a confession that I rejoice because she made a profession with her lips that Christ alone was Lord, and will, therefore, go to heaven.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

I am not stronger than He. Nor would He desire me to be for He was our example of tender mercies.

Looking at my friend, barely recognizable, having aged 20 years in the past one, I reflected on the many times her thoughts and actions were directed towards helping others before she helped herself – if she helped herself. She had a servant’s heart without the false humility so often behind those who others call a “saint” or “martyr”. She was content to be in agreement with the Apostle Paul about her “condition” under God.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

She has never asked, “Why”, in regards to her affliction and suffering. What she did ask was, “Do you think my husband is saved? I’d like to leave this earth knowing he is, but I’ve always been concerned he’s not.” This was the only time I’d ever seen her blush, as she rushed on apologetically reiterating that while she understands I’m aware she knows the Scriptures front-to-back – that we’re not to judge another’s salvation – she can’t help but wonder. “Pray for him”, she asked, “because I’d really love for him to be saved.”

Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses this life for me and for the gospel will save it.

One day, looking through photos of fun times our families had together, it suddenly dawned on me. Her death wasn’t for nothing. It wasn’t a loss. I was thinking after the fashion of the lost-world, and not after Christ. She believes in a Sovereign God, as do I. Some times it helps me to think in reverse so I played “what if”.

“What if” the Lord asked her, “I give you a choice. You can have everything back just the way it was – your family, friends, and children. You can have an extra two or three decades, watching grandchildren grow up. You and husband can do all the wonderful things you talked about doing in your old age – traveling, enjoying hobbies together. Or, you can let me work my plan now, keep things just the way they are at this very moment, and wait in faith to see what my own good purpose is.”

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt which option she would choose. This was a woman who was well-loved by a husband who adored her, who was her friend and companion, admiring everything about her. He’d never given her a reason to doubt his faithfulness. He’s not, in other words, an example of “carnal”, and that often means it is more difficult for people like this, especially men, to come to know Christ as Lord. This is a church-going man. If you’re “good”, if you love, if you’re lovable, what need do you have to fall on your knees seeking His face, grace and mercy.

Her death is bringing him to his knees. Her death will be his undoing, I pray, as she would pray, it will break his chains to this earth. She would have chosen this grueling path for herself, if it meant the possibility that he would finally come up against that place in life where he ran out of his own sufficiency, needing to acknowledge reliance on Christ.

Even in her dying, she is teaching me how to live for Christ.

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

  1. Absolutely beautiful

    Just Jen    Nov 27, 02:59 PM    #
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