“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!”
— Job 38:4-5
In a poem, the Dutch writer Corrie Ten Boom compares her life to a tapestry woven by God. She says that God weaves both joy and sorrow into her life, and it is as though she sees only the back of the tapestry. She says she cannot understand how the strands could ever make something beautiful. But God understands and has a plan for how everything in her life will come together for his beautiful purpose.
Job, to whom God is speaking in our reading today, is a bit like that—seeing only the back of the tapestry of his life. Job has had to deal with terrible suffering and tragedy, and he does not understand why it all happened. God responds with a poetic speech about the creation of the world. God is the one who created everything, including things that are so mysterious that we don’t even know how to speak about them. God reminds Job of this in order to both challenge and assure him. God challenges Job to be humble about his own knowledge. And God assures Job that he has a plan, even though it may be hard to understand.
We are like Job in this way too. There are many things about God’s purposes that we do not understand. But God promises to provide for us and for the world he has beautifully made.
Provider God, you have assured us that you love us and are at work in our lives. Give us confidence to trust in you. Amen.