Cry Chaos

I read an article recently about an elite special forces unit in Denmark called Sirius. Every 5 years, the 12 man team travels the entire eastern edge of Greenland, a Danish protectorate. Sirius is the world’s only military dogsled patrol. The brutal conditions test the men and their dogs to the limits of their endurance. This experience exists, the article says, at the “intersection of chaos and skill.”

I thought about this intersection while reading Job 1:13-22. What occurs in these few verses would be catastrophic for any human being. In one day, your livelihood is demolished and your employees are murdered. Your children – all 7 of them – are killed in a freak windstorm. Our minds swerve at this point: maybe this really is an allegory. Maybe the kids really didn’t die, but were badly injured. And Job didn’t know it. Or something.

Chaos, or something very like it, is what God allows at certain times in life. The ground shifts, the system threatens to crash.

Chaos results in confusion and disorder.

Havoc! was a military order given to English forces in the Middle Ages. It directed the soldiers, or as Shakespeare called them, “the dogs of war”, to pillage and destroy.

Havoc results in devastation and ruin.

God permits seasons of chaos. The enemy attempts havoc. Oswald Chambers, in “My Utmost for His Highest,” writes: “If we have been learning to trust Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break in our confidence in Him.” To go to the breaking point and not break is a tall order. Our task is to keep our gaze, in absolute trust, on God.

There is danger, of course. We may in moments of extreme weakness and fatigue, wonder if God has gotten a little sloppy or haphazard. Or forgetful. Job wondered, as he unknowingly found himself at the intersection of chaos and the skilful hand of God.

Yet, even in those early moments of shock and horror, as his own terrible trial has just begun, he does a magnificent thing. He falls to the ground and worships:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
God’s name be ever blessed.

Ever.

Do you struggle with doubt about God’s hand on your life? If so, have you looked for the root of that doubt – and prayed for assurance?

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