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Taming a Hippopotamus

The account of creation in the final chapters of Job are among my favorite scriptures. To hear the account of creation from God's point of view is nothing less than powerful. All of a sudden, Job and his friends are silent as God begins to describe His handiwork in words they could understand. And as He gives us intimate details of His creation, that only the creator could know - I am awed once again by His power and wisdom.

This morning as I was reading the questions God was asking Job, I turned them around to statements of action. These are some restatements of the way God handled creation in my own words:

  • He calculated and measured earth's dimensions
  • He set boundaries for the waters of the earth and told them they could "go no further"
  • He commanded the morning to appear
  • He knows where light comes from...and where darkness goes when light appears
  • He knows where the seas "come from"
  • He ensures the proper sequence of the seasons
  • He placed the constellations - and they are still there 
  • He shouts to the clouds and makes it rain
  • He knows when the wild animals give birth
It is just so powerful  to hear the first-hand account of creation and its continuation from the One who instigated it all! I've read this passage numerous times and it reminds me of how huge and wise God really is, and how frail I really am. Yet He beckons me to come into fellowship with Him. He measured the waters of the earth out and put them right where He wanted them - and then told them to stay put. He spoke and light burst forth from somewhere - only He knows its origin. He set the earth on its axis at just the right angle, at just the right distance from the sun to sustain life. 

While I was in awe of all His mighty work and letting my imagination run wild with pictures of how glorious creation must have been, He shifts and asks Job to look at the hippopotamus. My mind is like what? It's such a funny animal. No one really wants a hippopotamus for a pet - it's not all cute-n-cuddly; it's massive and bulky. But God speaks of His creation rather fondly.

God says the hippopotamus is mighty and then He adds I made the hippopotamus just as I made you. (Job 40:15) He describes a powerful, muscular animal - that eats grass like an ox, or a cow. This massive beast doesn't tear animals limb from limb for sustenance - it eats grass. Yet nothing messes with a hippopotamus - He says Only its creator can threaten it. It lies down where it wants - it eats when and where it wants - it's not afraid of water - you can't catch it off guard and no one has tamed a hippopotamus! (Job 40:24) Sounds like one of our most ignored animal friends is well loved by the Creator. 

If God can care for a hippopotamus - and knows it in such intimate detail, how much more does He care for us and know what our days look like? Psalm 139 tells us He is acquainted with all our ways. He knows exactly what the caregiver's day looks like. He knows the struggles and triumphs, the emotions and lack of them, the tiredness and energy - all the minute by minute ebbs and flows that are associated with caregiving. He knows how much we trust, or don't trust Him. He is aware of our patience - or lack thereof! 

And in all this - He stands with heart and hands outstretched longing for us to come to Him and rest. I'm thinking if the hippopotamus can trust God for sustenance and care - so can I! If He knows all the actions of a hippopotamus, how much more does He know the ins and outs of our days? 

Today I will think about how intimately God knows me. I'll think about how He can see right into my heart and sense my deepest emotions - and I'm okay with that and so is He. I'll think about how He does not discard me when I get frustrated. He patiently waits for me. My meditations will be on how much effort He takes to communicate to me how much He loves me, how much He cares. I'll make today a deep breath day - and I will rest in him. Will you join me?

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