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The Missing Piece

assorted puzzle game
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Have you ever sat down to put a jigsaw puzzle together?  You work for a long time, days even, to put a beautiful picturesque scene together and just as you are finishing it up there is a missing piece.  Your heart sinks in disappointment because it can never be finished.

Life can be so much like that jigsaw puzzle.  You strive and work and press on to great achievements.  You pour into your life, your family, your jobs, and you give it all you have.  You think that life is so good and it could never be better…or worse.

Then you hit a wall — a new day dawns and suddenly a piece is missing.  The thoughts whirl inside of your head…processing what could have gone wrong…why now??  Maybe its the loss of a job or the death of a loved one.  Maybe your child has wandered away from the Lord and the values you instilled in him.  The day awakened and yet you are in the dark.  What happens now?  A piece is missing…it is an important piece and now you feel that God is not being fair or He is being unkind.  How could He let this happen??  You’ve worked hard to live life right and He abruptly halts production!  Now what?

We are told of a man that this very thing happened to in God’s Word.  Job — he was doing life the right way.  He had a good wife, healthy and happy children, riches, and land…Job had it all!  He was the man on Life’s “Man of the Year!”  Job was a big success and seemingly with no worries at all.  Job was the Joneses next door — Job is you!  The epitome of the good life.

Then one day dawned and it was all gone.  Every last thing — ashes.  His children had perished, his riches stripped away, and he cursed the day he was ever born!

Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said, “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, And the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’ “May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, Nor light shine on it. “Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it. “As for that night, let darkness seize it; Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; Let it not come into the number of the months. “Behold, let that night be barren; Let no joyful shout enter it. (Job 3:1-7)

“Whoah, Job, aren’t you being a bit rash here?”  Was he?  Have you ever been rash when it all seemed to be falling apart?  I have! Job also did something that I have done…he started questioning God!  He interrogates God on one hand and praises Him for who He is on the other.  His friends give him poor counsel, as does his wife.  His wife told him to curse God and die!  “Wow, Mrs. Job, that’s some support your offering your beloved!”

I think what is really remarkable about this whole account is that God entertains Job’s interrogation…He listens to Job.  Did He have to??  Well, actually, no!  He is God…He is a holy and sovereign God…no, He didn’t have to listen at all.  BUT, He did!  Why?

Because God loved Job.  He simply loved Him and understood that his questions came from a deep source of loss and pain.  While Job was not entitled to ask the questions, God was gracious in hearing them.  Then, when Job was done, God spoke…

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? “Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’? “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place, That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it? (Job 38:1-13)

Oh, my friend, this goes on through chapter 38 and 39 and finally in the first two verses of chapter 40 God says,

Then the LORD said to Job, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” (Job 40:1-2)

Job is quite humbled at this point and declares to the Lord:

Then Job answered the LORD and said, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. “Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more.” (Job 40:3-5)

Then, and then, God continues to challenge Job through the rest of chapters 40 and 41.  He has spoken, and Job is left.  I do not believe Job was left defeated at all…God had given him the missing piece.  God showed Job that His sovereignty over Job was perfect and there was in fact no missing piece at all…it was missing understanding of who God is and His love for him.  I absolutely love Jobs response and repentance to God:

Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)

My friend, that should be our response too.  When we feel defeated and life has chewed us up and spit us out, we can turn to God and not be afraid to ask the hard questions.  However, we must also be prepared to hear the answer.  We also must be prepared to turn from this place of brokenness and sin so that God can restore us to Himself.  Satan petitions God for us, but when we are in Christ, satan’s petitions are not going to produce ugliness.  They will fall in the heap of ashes and those things meant to destroy you will not prosper because of the Blood of Christ and for His sake!  Will it be easy?  Absolutely not!  Yet, you are not left alone to figure it all out on your own!  God will answer you through the whirlwind from His Word, as He did Job, if we sincerely and humbly approach Him and with a repentant heart.

I pray the void and brokenness that you are feeling will be soothed with the balm of His love for you.  If you have not been born again and would like to understand the love of Christ that was poured out for you on Calvary…message me.  It would be a privilege to share Christ with you.

Soli Deo Gloria