I’m sitting on a hillside high above Yalova. In the distance, I can see ships on the Sea of Marmaras and behind the haze far to the north, İstanbul.
The birds are singing.
A mourning dove is not far way crying out its song.
The chickens are “awakening the dawn”.
I can hear cowbells on the local cattle.
In the distance, I can hear goats.
There is no doubt that the people from the wedding that was held last night across the hillside from us are sound asleep after a long night of singing and dancing.
It is one of the mornings where in my quiet time, I just opened the Bible and read. Today’s passage took me back into my favorite Bible story: Job. In this passage, Job is making a reply to his friends.
“Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead. I know that my Redeemer lives, 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; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I and not another. How my heart yearns within me.”
— Job 19:23-27 (NIV)
As I read this, I thought of the end of the story of Job as well (actually, this is a great way to read the book of Job). As the book comes to a close, Job completed his dialogue with God with these words:
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me’. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
— Job 42:2-6 (NIV)
In the midst of his confusion and obscurity, Job still stops to say, “My Redeemer lives!” He understands a very key element here.
Confusion and obscurity will happen.
Sickness will happen.
Pain will happen.
Grief will happen.
Yet, in the midst of it all, My Redeemer lives!
Yesterday, we were met with some resistance. We were trying to leave İstanbul, and cross over to Yalova to meet some friends. Yet, we also needed to finalize hotel arrangements in the city for this next week. The clock was ticking as our team leader and the manager of the hotel negotiated, the van waited to take us to the ferry, and we scrambled to store our luggage as we were just taking day packs with us to Yalova.
They managed to work out an agreement on one night of hotel, yet we missed the 1130 ferry. This meant we had two hours to kill in the ferry port.
Three of our teammates went out on a hunt for food. As the looked around, they found themselves in an Armenian Church. Surrounded by the peace of Christ.
Order in chaos.
Light in darkness.
The Redeemer in the midst of obscurity.
We look forward to returning to this church and see how we can be a blessing to them.
As we boarded our ferry, I was reminded of what Mordecai told Esther: “Perhaps you were made for such a time as this.”
So, this morning, as I sit on this hillside and reflect on the past 24 hours, I can honestly say that in our obscurity and confusion, God’s order was present and we saw Kingdom Come.
It was amazingly beautiful.
So, like Job, we can say, “We had heard with our ears, yet now we have seen with our eyes.”