Summary: There is a God who knows what is best for us from beginning to end.
In Max Lucado’s book, The Eye of the Storm, he tells the story of Chippie the parakeet. "Chippie never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage, singing a song into the air; the next second he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
"His problem began when his owner decided to clean his cage with a vacuum. She stuck the nozzle in to suck up the seeds and feathers at the bottom of the cage when the nearby telephone rang. Instinctively she turned to pick it up. She had barely said hello when--ssswwwwwpppppp! Chippie got sucked in. She gasped, let the phone drop, and switched off the vacuum. With her heart in her mouth, she unzipped the bag.
"There was Chippie!! Alive but stunned!! Covered with heavy gray dust. She grabbed him and rushed to the bathtub, turned on the faucet full blast, and held Chippie under a torrent of ice-cold water, power washing him clean. Then it dawned on her that Chippie was soaking wet and shivering. So she did what any compassionate pet owner would do: she snatched up the hair dryer and blasted him with hot air.
"Did Chippie survive? Yes, but he doesn't sing much anymore. He just sits and stares a lot. It's not hard to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over! It's enough to steal the song from any stout heart." Life is like that sometimes. You never see it coming, but life just sucks you in, washes you up, and blows you over.
Sometimes we like Chippie are sucked into the vacuum of vicious vicissitudes of circumstances, washed over by worries and weariness, and blown over by the winds of burdens and buffets. That is exactly what happened to Job. He did not see it coming; he certainly had no reason to anticipate what was coming. There was even no way he could prepare for what came. In 1988 there was a story that introduced the Winter Games that was fascinating. It was the story of how blind skiers were taught to ski. They took them on the flats and paired them with skiers who could see. The blind skiers followed the directions of the skiers who could see. They shouted commands, left, right, slow. Then they took them on the slopes and came down right beside them. The blind skiers crossed the finishing line without an incident. A reporter interviewed a couple of them and asked them, how could they manage to do that without knowing what was ahead of them. He asked, were you not afraid? The blind skiers said, no not really. We learned to trust the eyes of those who could see, and follow their commands.
That seems to be the sentiments of Job, he was blind to where life was leading, he was without sight or sense of what life was doing. Have you been there? Job’s experience and those skiers experience are actually our own. Perhaps even now, some feel like Chippie, life is sucking you in a vacuum, washing you over with cold and callous circumstances, blowing you with the heat of horrendous heartache. Welcome to the club of reality living. Welcome to the journey of faith and trust. Perhaps the words to this hymn are meaningful.