We are creatures of control. We like predictability, habit, and, if possible, certainty. Take medicine, for example. Here is one profession dedicated to enabling us to control our health, avoid disease, and extend life. Living with uncertainty, confusion, and chaos creates anxiety. Doctors train to know how, when and why to intervene; less so to deal with helplessness when life spins out of control. We like what doctors do for us; we regain control.
In the above illustration, William Blake (1875) depicts Chaos. These monsters, taken from the Book of Job, chapters 40-41, describe our world at times: out of control, chaotic. Behemoth (top) is based on the hippopotamus, not easily controlled. “Can he be taken by his eyes? Can his nose be pierced by hooks?” (40:24), the Lord wants to know. Like most of the other unanswerable questions He asks Job, the answer is, “No, of course not!” Strong Behemoth does what he wants, restraining the river until he leaves and making the water gush (40:23). Two statements catch our attention: “Take now Behemoth, whom I made as I did you” (40:15). Life at times presents problems too overwhelming for us; they are nevertheless part of God’s sovereignty over creation. The second: “He is the first of God’s works; only his Maker can draw the sword against him” (40:19). As the first of God’s works (perhaps reflecting how in Genesis 1 God brought order out of chaos), only God can exert control. Some times we have no choice but to admit our limitations and trust God to intervene.
We may be confronted with the unexpected death of a loved one, divorce, or disability. Accident, disease, or warfare can leave us permanently changed. We must admit our ability to control life is limited by reality. Our only recourse is to turn to God, for “only He can draw the sword against him.” Do you wrestle with some uncontrollable reality? You may continue to struggle, or you may turn your life over to God.
[Sources: Image accessed from http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/2155/200016 on 2013-09-17. Job Text: Jewish Publication Society, 1980.]