“Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?”
We hear that term a lot, right?
Which is why these words in Job are so interesting.
See, God is replying to Job’s questions. Job had a lot of questions. He had lost his possessions, his children, and his health.
He was wondering why.
Why the suffering? The heartache? Why all the pain and loss of life?
Legit. I mean, when trouble hit my life, why was the first thing I asked.
Why do I have to hurt so badly? Why me?
And I know you have questions when life hands you the short end of the stick, too.
Why are relationships so hard to maintain? Why is that situation at my workplace so challenging? Why are other people so rude/stupid/incompetent/cruel?
Why do the rich get richer while the poor sink lower? Why do children pay for the mistakes of the adults whose job it is to protect and nurture them? Why Boko Haram and dictatorships and corruption and the gross abuse of power?
Job is upset.
And – God listens. Lets him vent. Allows him to get things off his chest.
Then He comes back with a few questions of his own.
The list is pretty fascinating. Read it sometime – it’s an amazing compilation. Everything from the principles of physics to ecology to zoology to our mental capacity is tossed at Job in the form of rhetorical questions.
Rhetorical, because we know very well Who is in charge.
Nature’s maternity ward – good old ‘Mother Nature’ – is none other than God Himself.
And it puts all of our questions in perspective immediately.
See – we can’t understand all of the pieces in play. We have no idea of the end from the beginning. We cannot begin to comprehend how all things fit together in their time and place and sequence to weave the threads of redemption through every single person’s existence.
Frost is harsh. It requires freezing temperatures. But it also creates beauty and balance. So too, the challenges we face are hard, yet draw out strength and resilience, beauty and balance.
Life is not easy.
But in the midst of the tough stuff, nature’s maternity ward is helping us to give birth to grace. Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. A deeper capacity to love freely, fight fiercely, stand on God’s promises with dignity.
It takes practice.
I’m not there yet. I wish I could say I was. But I’m learning, and for that, I’m grateful.
When the cold hits and the frost comes, remember that this too is life’s maternity ward.
What will it bring to life in you?
Learn to see troubles in a different light with me?
Father, You hold the stars in place and designed the human heart and loved among us to experience suffering with and for us. Thank You for that. Walk with us in our suffering and remind us of all the beautiful things that can be born in us as we lean on You for strength. Amen.