Several years ago we lived in a town that was adjacent to a community where they had a special place for elephants. At this place, elephants were bred, raised, and trained for various purposes. These elephants were used to carry heavy loads, and to carry people on their backs. They were also dressed up and displayed during festivals and celebrations.
The strength of these beasts is amazing. Once in a while, an elephant would go out of control. Seemingly in a sort of rage. At that time, they really display their true strength – much beyond what you could imagine. People get thrown around like dolls, trees get plucked from the ground like plants, and trucks get flipped over, and complete havoc is the result.
But when these animals deal with their young, they are amazingly gentle. Their great strength is set aside for a soft and gentle approach. Just to deal with their young, they are willing to come down to their level rather than expecting their young ones to come up to theirs.
In the midst of his greatest struggles, Job looked to God and had an inward confidence. The confidence was that God would pay attention to him and come down to his level. Job said “would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. (Job 23:6 ESV) His friends had accused him of severe negligence and sin. They said that all his “righteous” acts were just a cover-up for his sinfulness, and that his sins finally caught up with him. Now God is dealing fiercely with him according to his sins.
But Job had a confidence that God would understand his weaknesses and limitations. He knew that God would come down to his level and would listen to him. Although his friends could not understand, he knew that God would.
I am reminded of the concept in proverbs: “…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24b ESV) The best one to do that, is God himself. He is the one who knows us fully. He knows all our weaknesses and sins, but continues to love us and draw us closer to him.
So, in the midst of your greatest defeat or sin, remember the words of Job. “Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me.” (Job 23:6 ESV) Go to him. He will certainly pay attention to you.
Share your experience of God putting aside his great power to deal with you in gentleness.
Share it in the comments section of this blog post.
Photo by helga_ni Creative Commons license.