Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and it is dyed like a garment. Light is withheld from the wicked, and their uplifted arm is broken.
“Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! Then Job answered the Lord: “See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but will proceed no further.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Do your days ever feel like a whirlwind? Other translations use the word storm, but I appreciate how relatable it is to hear “the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind.” It’s far too easy to get overwhelmed by life and circumstances, and to become insular: focused on my pain and my problems and feeling alone as a result.
I don’t hear God’s questions to Job in today’s first reading as reprimanding. I hear them as calm assurance. Have you seen how big the world is? Don’t lose sight of that. Do you know the way to light? To life? I do, says God. And as such, we are assured that even if our lives feel on the brink of darkness and despair, we won’t be alone in it. God is guiding us.
God answers Job out of the whirlwind. How can you find God’s presence amidst the storms of your life today?
—Sarah Otto is a Retreat and Program Director at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.
Creator God, you answered Job out of the whirlwind and reminded him of the immensity of your presence. Calm the storms in my life and heart that prevent me from seeing and trusting in you.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!