What God Is Doing in Your Crazy, Frustrating Life

JeannieWaters.com

When you pass someone on the sidewalk wearing a large “How Can I Pray for You?” button, you pay attention. I met Lori Hatcher at a conference just after a crazy, frustrating afternoon. She smiled and prayed with me.

Have you ever wanted someone to be your friend as soon as you met her? My friend, Lori Hatcher, laughs easily and loves big. Her love for God and people shine in her writing.  

Because of my friendship with Lori, I have a gift for you today—a sample devotion from her new book, Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible. Enjoy!

Guest Post by Lori Hatcher

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What God Is Doing in Your Crazy, Frustrating Life

Book of Job

“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

Job 26:16

Do you ever wonder what in the world God is doing in your crazy, frustrating life?

  • God, what good does it do to keep reaching out to difficult people when they don’t seem to care?
  • God, why is that ministry thriving and mine just limping along?
  • God, why did I spend half my life teaching my kids to love you only to have them turn their backs on faith?
  • God, why should I keep praying when nothing ever changes?
  • God, if I’m obeying your call, why is it so hard?
  • God, what are you doing in this crazy life of mine????

If you can relate to any of these questions, there’s hope. Hope that comes, of all places, from the book of Job.

Imagine that.

God is laughing already.

Who would think a man who had lost ten children in a tragic accident, went from millionaire to pauper in a day, and was married to a cruel, faithless woman would have any hope to offer? But in God’s upside down economy, it’s not surprising at all.

In the twenty-sixth chapter of the book that bears his name, Job rehearses for his “miserable comforters” the might, power, and majesty of God.

“He hangs the earth on nothing,” he says. “He binds up the water in His thick clouds . . . He stirs up the sea with His power . . . By His Spirit He adorned the heavens . . . (v. 7-13)”

Then he concludes with this awe-struck realization:

“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

The mere edges of his ways.

I grew up on the rocky shores of Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island. I’d often sit at the shoreline, wade in the shallows, or swim out until my feet barely touched the bottom. Because I had lived around the sea all my life, I thought I knew it well.

Then one day I boarded a ship that took me hundreds of miles off shore, where the water stretched from horizon to horizon and the ocean floor lay miles beneath me. Only then did I begin to understand the true nature of the ocean. Before that, I had experienced the mere edges – and how small a whisper they had been.

After pointing out our nearsighted perspective, Job lifts the fog on the ocean of God’s ways: “But the thunder of his power, who can understand?”

Paul, in First Corinthians, says it like this:

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (2:9).

And

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror (13:12).

As Christians bound to the earth by our mortality, we glimpse only the mere edges of His ways. And hear only small whispers of Him.

But one day we’ll sail out into the vast expanse of no-time life. We’ll hear the clarion call of his mighty voice. We’ll witness the thunder of his power. And we will understand.

  • Every Bible verse you taught your children? Seed for the harvest.
  • Every hour spent responding patiently to difficult people? Sandpaper smoothing the edges of your soul.
  • Every late night and early-morning prayer time? A fragrant offering.
  • Every kind deed done in Jesus’ name? Stepping stones on the journey toward righteousness.

Job can speak into our angst and impatience because he, too, wondered what in the world God was doing. How could anything good be happening when he saw so few results?

But Job clung to his integrity, remained faithful to God, and never stopped believing that somehow, somewhere, God was using his suffering to bring about a mighty harvest.

“I know that my Redeemer lives,” he declared triumphantly, “and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (19:25-26).

Because of the gift of Scripture, we know what Job didn’t – that God was using the panorama of his life – the pain and the pleasure – to script a faith story so genuine that it would encourage believers for millennia.

We know none of Job’s heart wrenching experiences were wasted. Even today, thousands of years later, God continues to use his insight and example to encourage us along our journey.

Perhaps God will use (is using?) our lives to do the same.

“God is not unjust;” the writer of Hebrews promises, “he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Heb. 6:10).

Today, if you’re wondering what in the world God is doing in your crazy, frustrating life, be encouraged. These are only the edges of his ways. The vast ocean lies before you.

Uncommon Thought

As Christians bound to the earth by our mortality, we glimpse only the mere edges of God’s ways. And hear only small whispers of Him.

Unusual Faith

Sometimes we can look back at times in our lives and see how God used our hardships and trials to accomplish something amazing. Other times the curtain remains closed. When you think about Job and others from Bible history (Moses, Joseph, David, the widow from Elijah’s day, Naomi, Hannah), do you think they knew fully how God was going to use their difficulties for his glory?

Is it safe to assume, then, since the same God who ordered the events of their lives also orders ours that he is similarly at work in our lives? Although it may be hard to conceive how anything good could come out of a dark time, imagine for a few moments how God might use your struggles to bring about something amazing. If what we see is only the edge of his ways, what might the whole ocean look like? Ponder this.

Unfamiliar Passage Read Job 26:7-14.

©Lori Hatcher 2020

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Lori Slice Hatcher, author

Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible is a collection of the treasure I unearthed during my year of searching. Each story-driven devotion contains an unusual verse, a real-life application, and an uncommon faith step. I hope my book will energize your faith, inspire your devotional time, and make you say, “Wow, I’ve never seen that before!”

Lori Slice Hatcher, author

Lori’s book is doing just that for me!

Click the link below to read more about my new favorite book. In Comments, please share your favorite part of the devotion.

Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible

16 thoughts on “What God Is Doing in Your Crazy, Frustrating Life

  1. As always, Lori I appreciate your insight and I identify with Jeannie on your kindness in prayer support. For those reading this blog and comments, I want to add an “Amen” to Refresh Your Faith and uncommon though highly relevant Bible verses in your devotional. Blessings as you share the Word and your life investing in others.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      You’re right, Marilyn, that the uncommon verses Lori selected are highly relevant. I will reread her book when I finish it.

    • Thank you so much, Marilyn. I’m so glad we get to walk the faith road together. Sending a hug your way 🙂

  2. I remember that prayer, Jeannie, and how privileged I felt to bring your request to the Father. I love how God knits sisters together through the living out of our faith. You are a blessing to me. Thanks so much for your partnership in the gospel from the first day unto now.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Lori, I’m thankful for your friendship and the honor of sharing your beautiful devotion. I’m praying that God will lead readers to your book with uncommon verses and draw many closer to Himself. God is certainly using your words to teach me more truth from His Word.

  3. Sometimes the most difficult question I ask in pray is “What do You want me to learn from this trial Lord?” My selfish, prideful self wants to scream “Why me?” The part of me, that I pray continues to grow with each new trial I face, knows I must ask the former. Yes. This life is sometimes crazy, painful, and confusing. Learning to navigate through all that is what brings me closer to completing God’s plan for me, which I believe it he plan for everyone – preparing us for our role in eternity. We are each different, with a different godly plan for us. Our job is to let God do His in us. Well said author!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      J. D., I’m sure many Christians identify with your description of our responses to trials. I know I do. Your comments remind us, as does Lori’s devotion, that we only see the edge, not the full picture. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Very well thought out and well presented. God is always in our lives working for our good and for those around us. Thanks for the reminder that He is always here.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Monty, I also enjoyed this devotion of Lori’s as I have others in her new book. Yes, God’s always working for our good even when we can only see the edge of circumstances. Thanks so much for commenting.

  5. This is a very relevant article, poignant for a time when we are mostly inside, locked away with our thoughts. Why are we going through this difficult time? We can only see the edge of what God’s plan is. Another verse I like to turn to in times like these is Isaiah 55:8-9- For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Thank you for the post Lori!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Doreen, thank you for your comments about Lori’s devotions and for adding these beautiful verses. It will be helpful to remember we only see the edge as Lori described.

  6. Beautiful, insightful, and full of inspiration. God never wastes anything in our lives and oh how He can use us to encourage others. I don’t remember that verse in Job, but it is now one of my favorites….the mere edges of His ways…..and your example with the ocean was perfect. Enjoyed the post.

  7. Evelyn Mason Wells

    What a wonderful devotion. It blessed me abundantly as I read it. Thank you, Jeannie, for posting it.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Lori’s devotions from uncommon verses are filled with insight and encouragement. This is one of my favorites so far.

  8. Love this post and all your devotions in your new book. Our pastor has just begun preaching a series in the book of Job. Timely words for sure.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Jeanne, I’ll pass your compliments along to Lori Hatcher. The devotions in her book are a blessing indeed.

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