Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Angry God

How does God feel (not think) but how does God feel about us after we’ve sinned?
This is not a salvation question, that is to say, this not a question whether one is saved or not.
This is a deeply relational question.
I think many of us, I know I have, developed a sense that we are disappointing God, letting him down. 
I think many of us believe that when we sin God becomes angry at us and pulls away from us.
I read this article[1] that has blown me away – or rather God’s great love for me has blown me away!
The argument in this article is that in all our fickleness and failures, through all our cold and callous days, in all our wandering and waywardness, the heart of God in Christ is drawn out all the more warmly to us
The article argues that God is not angry at us when we sin, but rather all his anger is against sin. Rather like a parent of a child with cancer would never be angry at the child for having cancer, but rather is angry at the cancer and wants to rid the child of the cancer, not get rid of the child! Likewise God is angry at sin in our lives and wants to rid our lives of sin but not be rid of us!
Of all the “diseases,” sin is the greatest! Jesus loves us, and hates our sin, because he loves us and wants us to be free of the destruction and death that sin brings! 
I think some of us believe (even if we don’t realize we believe this) that God has to “muster up” love for us, because we are such wretched creatures that keep screwing it up!
This is not true. 
As we read in both the Old Testament:
“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6)
And the New Testament:
“God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions.” (Ephesians 2:4)
The father of the lost (or prodigal) son is a great illustration of God’s heart towards us when we have sinned … the Father comes running to the son, yes the son came towards the father but the father went running to him before the son could even make it to the father. So it is with God he comes running to us. 
All we have to do is turn towards God, and God will come running! 
Actually I think we will discover God is running after us before we even turned, like we read in the parables about the lost sheep and the lost coin found in The Gospel According to Luke chapter 15, just before the parable of the lost son.
So you see our sins do not push God away from us, but rather they pull him closer, like a father who wants to embrace his hurting child.

I can already hear the accusations of this being a “cheap grace” message. 

Let me finish by quoting the Apostle from  Romans chapter 6 “What shall we say, then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!” (Romans 6:1-2) And later in chapter 7 “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ... Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 7:24-25; 8:1).

[1] “Does God Like Me? Thomas Goodwin on Our Deep Insecurity” by Dane Ortlund;

Friday, 5 January 2018

Little Miss Perfect

I was asked to prepare chapel very last minute, so as I walked to the bus this morning I was thinking about what God had been teaching me lately… 
I started to think about why we make New Year resolutions. I think it largely has to do with our desire to improve ourselves, to be better people, to perfect ourselves … 
The verse where Jesus says “[t]herefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) popped in to my head.
Whoa! Whaaat!? That’s a tall order! 
Is it even possible? I mean to be perfect? Is it even possible to be perfect? I don’t know about you but I haven’t managed it yet.
Whenever I read something in the Bible that doesn’t seem to make sense I take a wider and deeper look.
First we go wider, that is we read the verse in its context:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on therighteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So the context is love. 
More specifically Jesus is clarifying who we are called to love – our enemies, those who don’t like us, those who we don’t like, those who hurt us, those who we hurt or at the very least want to hurt, those who are cruel, those who do terrible things – Jesus is calling us to love them. 
He gives us the reason we are to love are enemies, those people who do terrible things – because if we call ourselves children of God then we will love like our Father loves, and God loves his enemies, those who do terrible things. 
Jesus takes it a step further and basically says “you love those who love you, so what!? You treat those who treat you with kindness and respect with kindness and respect, so what!? You help out those who help you out, so what!? Even the tax collectors (to the original audience they are the enemy, those people who do terrible things) and Gentiles (non-believers or pagans) do that!”
Jesus is basically saying “If you only love those who love you – you are no better than your enemy, those who do terrible things.”
Ouch! That hurts! 
Yup. That’s how Jesus’ rolls – he tells it like it is, even or maybe especially, when it hurts because he loves us and wants us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
That brings us to the verse in question “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Now we go deeper, what does Jesus mean by perfect?
The word perfect, in the Bible, can and does mean complete or finished.  In Hebrews it says that Jesus was made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2:10; 5:8–9). That is to say he completed or fulfilled God’s plan for Him as our Savior by suffering for us.
Perfect can also have the meaning of mature or grown up In Philippians 3:15, the apostle Paul speaks to "as many as are perfect" - the word perfecthere can also be translated as mature - "as many as are mature."
We now have a wider and deeper understand of what Jesus means when he says, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 
I think he is meaning, "love completely as your heavenly Father loves completely."  
As God loves all people, even his enemies, even those who do terrible things – we are also to love all people, even our enemies, even those who do terrible things. 
This is how we can be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect – to love as he loves.
Now the question:  how do we love our enemies? What does that even look like? Where do I even get the ability to love my enemies from?”
This is a huge question. And I don’t have an answer.
But I think the process of wrestling with this question is the answer. What I mean is that as we wrestle with the question of “how do I love my enemies?” and as we make attempt to love our enemies - we grow, we mature - and as we maturewe are able to love our enemies more and more completely
This is a lifelong process. 
Some really good news is that this is a process we do not do alone. We have been given the Holy Spirit and the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in and through us includes love as well as joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23 – everything that we need to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
As the Apostle Paul prays over the Philippian Christians I also pray over you:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus… And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:6, 9-11)

Monday, 21 November 2016


“Brokenness” has been a theme in my life this past week. Coming up in conversations, referred to in the reading for morning prayer, and the title of the chapter i read from Henri Nouwen’s book “Life of the Beloved”. 

First a friend made the argument that “brokenness” was not a “Biblical” word (or at least not in the sense that we often use it), in an excerpt from Ronald Rolheiser in the book of “Common Prayer a Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals” an author declares that we need a theology of brokenness. And then finally Nouwen counsels the reader to embrace our brokeness and to hold it up to the light of our belovedness. 

After brief conversation with my friend who argued that “brokenness” was not a Biblical word I did some research, and came across a blog written by Dr. Bob Kellemen that I found to be helpful in defining “brokenness” ( To sum is up the Bible refers to brokenness in regards to our pain and suffering and brokenness in regards to being broken hearted over our sin. In the Bible brokenness and sin are not synonymous. I think that is the argument my friend was making, that today often people refer to their “brokenness” as their sin, as if some how it is not their fault that they sin, because they are after all “broken.” I would agree with her that this understanding of “brokenness” is not represented in the Bible. I would also agree with the Ronald Rolheiser as quoted in the book of “Common Prayer” that we need a theology of brokenness, that is we need to understand how our brokenness in regards to suffering and being broken hearted over our sin relates to God and who He is. Again from that blog Bob argues that our brokenness whether related to suffering or sin, should lead us to God. In our suffering we turn to God as our source of hope, in our brokenness over our sin we turn to God in repentance and to receive forgiveness. Our brokenness should lead us to God.

I think that Nouwen is referring to brokenness in regards to our pain and suffering. So when he counsels us to embrace, he even goes as far as to say befriend, our brokenness I think he is calling us to acknowledge our pain and suffering, not to try and run from it, or numb it or ignore it, but to face the pain as a reality. Then when he counsels us to bring it into the light, I think he is saying take the reality of your pain and suffering and hold it up into the truth of God’s perfect and unfailing love. And it is not that this will instantaneous take your pain and suffering away, because it will not, but I do believe that with the continued and persistent practice of this what I might call a spiritual discipline, the truth of God’s love will dull the pain, take off the edge, not erase it completely but make it bearable. But the thing is we need to work at this, this is a struggle, a battle, Jesus has freely given us abundant life, but we still live in a fallen world, and there is an enemy working against us who does not want us to live into the abundant life Jesus has given us. Earlier in his book Nouwen explains that this is a spiritual struggle, there is joy in the struggle, but it is a struggle none the less. And I would add that there will be break throughs, but it is a struggle that we will be engaged in our entire lives on this side of eternity, because we live in-between times, there will be a day that Christ returns and sets all things right, and there will be no more pain, or tears, or death, but until that day we must continue to struggle, knowing that he has already won the victory, and that even as we suffer and struggle we know that he has not left us alone but has sent us the Holy Spirit, who is our Counsellor, and help us in our suffering and struggles if we allow him to. 

A side note: You might be thinking, that’s it!? But I don’t want the pain at all. I would say I’m the same way, I don’t want the pain at all, so I’ve tried other methods to get ride of the pain, by drinking, partying, and what not, and maybe this has numbed me from the pain for a little while, but the pain is always there, and when the numbing wheres off the pain is worse then before. Some people try to get ride of the pain by working, and accomplishing, even by doing “good” things, but from what I have experienced and what I have learned from other peoples lives who are wiser than I none of it works! 

How are you suffering? Is it cancer? It is a failed relationship? For me it is that life has not turned out the way I though it would, I have deep disappointment and an aching heart. This morning I am sitting before my Father holding this pain, not ignoring, not trying to numb it, holding it up to the truth that I am perfectly loved by my Father in Heaven. It does not take the deep ache and longing away, or even dull it, at this point I only have the hope that by persistent and continually practising this embracing and holding up of my brokenness before my Father God’s perfect love eventually the pain will be dulled, my perspective will be shifted, and I will be able to live more and more into the abundant life Jesus has given me, until the day he returns and there will be no more disappointment, longing or heart ache. 

Another side note: When I say I am “holding up my pain to the light of God’s perfect love” what I mean is that I am spending time reading Scripture out loud, the Psalms are a great place to start, because so much of them are prayers of struggle, crying out to God for help, and then declaring the truth of God’s love. I am also simply sitting still and in silence with God, try starting with 15 minutes, I started by listing to music, or by repeating a simple phrase such as “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2). I have also found journaling, they are more like written out prayers, to be very helpful. The most important things are: First, to be completely honest with yourself, and with God about your suffering and pain, do not hold anything back. Second, to make this embracing and holding up a part of your daily life, to practice it continually and persistently. because break throughs, shifting of perspectives, and taking the edge of the pain, will not happen over night, and it’s not like you can just do this for a month or two, “deal with it,” and then you’re good to go for life, remember we live in-between the times of Jesus having come, but he is still coming back, and therefore we will continue face suffering and pain, so we need to continue to embrace our pain and holding it up to the light of God’s perfect love for us so that we might live into the abundant life Jesus has given us!


Thursday, 15 September 2016


This morning as I eat my standard two eggs, two pieces of toast, a bunch of veggies, and a double shot coffee (yeah I know I eat a lot! but haven't you heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day?) … 

what was I saying? Oh yeah so as I was chowing down I was listening to my daily Bible reading (I had to listen rather then read it, because my hands were busy eating!), and I thought to myself "what does it mean to be a Christian?"

Not only was this question unrelated to the Bible reading, its one I probably should have figured out by now, after being born and raised in a Christian family, attending a Christian school, being part of one church or another my entire life, going to countless youth groups and Christian Summer camps, being a Christian for ten years now, having done a DTS with YWAM, being a leader in a number of Christian ministries, and having just finished a four year degree in theology at Regent College! 

Come now Maria get it together! You should have this one in the bag! And I do, I could give you an answer or two, I could write a paper, give a sermon, and even draw a picture explaining to you that it means to be a Christian. 

But for whatever reason this morning the question came to my mind, and so instead of ignoring the question or quickly answering it away, I let it tumble around in my head as I continued to listen to Psalm 2 being read to me by a man with a very pleasant voice (I was also thinking to myself "I wonder how one gets into that line of work, and I wonder if he is happy doing it, and I wonder if he’s a Christian, and I wonder if he become a Christian after he got this gig and spent hours upon hours reading the Bible out loud?"). 

At the end of Psalm 2 in the Message version (I know I know some of you out there really don’t like the Message, but I do! It breaths fresh insight into passages that have become tired and familiar to me) it says “But if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” 

That stuck with me even as the pleasant sounding man launched into the second reading of the day: Proverbs 2, so much so that I had to stop the man and go back to Psalm 2. 

I read it over a several times “if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” … “if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” … “if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” … 
then I looked it up in the ESV “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” 

"Hum?" I thought to myself, "that’s what being a Christian means, one who makes a run for God! Who takes refuge in Him."

And right away the thought came to me “that’s to simplified …” but I said “shhhh” to that thought, and instead ran with the thought that being a Christian is one who runs towards God (not that I don’t think that maybe it is a little over simplified, but because I wanted to explore what it means to be a Christian from a different angle then I often do). 

As chewed on “being a Christian means running for God, taking refuge in Him” (and the last of my breakfast), I wondered what the context of Psalm 2 was (because I went to Regent and I after four years it is second nature to ask question like what is the context). So after a quick Google search (because I am not still at Regent and I don’t have to create a Bibliography, PTL!) I discovered explanation (from That I found rather helpful: 

The Psalm is a dramatic presentation in three acts: 1. the nations have rebelled against God (2:1-3), 2. God is sovereign (2:4-9), 3. We must submit to God and His Anointed while there is time (2:10-12). 
As the verse I was reflecting on is found in act 3, I zoomed in on that one (but if you feel so inclined please check out the whole thing at 
So what does Psalm 2 (more specifically Psalm 2:12, the phrase “But if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!”) teach us about what it means to be a Christian? For one thing “Jesus didn’t come to save us so that we could get a free ticket to heaven and then go our own way. The issue is one of lordship.” 

To be a Christian means to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord over all! That means our entire lives, every little bit, every crock and cranny! And everything else, from the dirt under our feet to the farest most distant planet, and everything in-between! 

In the conclusion says “You can’t find peace and safety anywhere in the world, but only in Christ.” And I thought yup, that’s what it means to be a Christian!

How does this all plays out in real time? Here I sit, graduated from Regent collage after four long changeling years, ten years of post-secondary education in total, single as single gets, 30 years of age, jobs less, and wondering “what the F is going on!? or rather not going on!" I have been feeling disappointed and frustrated with how my life has turned out at 30, and after struggling through Regent for four years, I had thought I would have changed the world by now! (but that’s a topic for another blog). 

So again here I sit—a Christian—someone who is running towards God, who finds her refuge in Him, who is submitting to Jesus’ Lordship in every crock and cranny of her life (even the disappointment or maybe especially the disappointment and frustration) banking on the truth that I can’t find peace and safety anywhere in the world, but only in Christ—well at least I am today, yesterday it was a little more touch and go and tomorrow I might crumble once again and try to gain control of my life—but today I am submitting to Christ, trusting in Him, running towards Him and taking refuge in Him—because I am a Christian.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Didn't see this coming ....

Do you ever think there might be something wrong with you?
Oh than there really is something wrong with you.
For real.

All “normal” people have those times when they think to themselves “what’s wrong with me? am I crazy? am I losing my mind? this can’t be normal, can it?
for all you “normal” people, I have good news: nothing is wrong with you, well nothing that’s not wrong with a couple billion other humans; no you are not crazy, well most of you, some of you are legitimately insane, you should get that checked out; yeah probably, but don’t be to worried about it I have found that it has a way of coming home to you, sooner or later; yes yes yes it can be, that’s what i’ve been trying to tell you: you are totally normal, well relatively, because who gets to decide what’s normal anyways?

its like those magazine blurbs that label what’s “hot and not,” who are these people, that they have the audacity to decide for the 7 billion people on the plant what’s “hot and not”?
I quite frankly think it’s kinda rude. Like who the f- do you think you are? God!?

Oh nooo, you do, you think you are God!
That’s a problem.

Actually I think that’s like a Western twenty-first century world problem, we all think we are gods.

Never mind the fact that we have never actually done anything really truly “god-like”…
when’s the last time you created a universe? or how about just a tree? I’m not talking about the time you planted an avocado pit and after months of watering it and singing to it it sprouted. I’m talking about from scratch, like Jamie Oliver style, but even more hardcore than that because you don’t even get to start with all the fresh organic ingredients to make you pasta, you have to make the fresh organic ingredients from nothing, nada, out of thin air, actually there might not even be air!

Or what about this one, when’s the last time you controlled the weather? The weather person’s inability to even consistently and accurately predict the weather is ample evidence for me that we have no control over the weather. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, what about Storm? OK stupid, Storm is not a real person, neither are any of the X people or the superheroes. But this obsession with superhero and genetically altered super humans makes a my next point for me…

we are obsessed with being gods, we create fairy tales about humans being "god-like," even if we know they are not real, we thrive on the maybe just maybe …

you will never be God.

But Maria …
We are independent people!
See this world we live in
we made it
see this life we’re rockin'
we made it
we depend on us
All the people who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the peps who makin' money
Throw your hands up at me
All the homies who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All ya’ll who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me!

nope. not true.

Then God spoke:
“Why do you confuse the issue?
    Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together!
    Up on your feet! Stand tall!
I have some questions for you,
    and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth?
    Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!
    Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,
    and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus
    and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean
    when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
    and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,
    a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
    Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
“And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’
    told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’
So you could seize Earth like a blanket
    and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light,
    brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
    they’re caught in the very act!
“Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things,
    explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean?
Do you know the first thing about death?
    Do you have one clue regarding death’s dark mysteries?
And do you have any idea how large this earth is?
    Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.
“Do you know where Light comes from
    and where Darkness lives
So you can take them by the hand
    and lead them home when they get lost?
Why, of course you know that.
    You’ve known them all your life,
    grown up in the same neighborhood with them!
“Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,
    seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
    for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
    or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
    for the downpours of rain, and charts
    the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
    deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
    so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
    the mother of ice and frost?
You don’t for a minute imagine
    these marvels of weather just happen, do you?
“Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters,
    or distract Orion from his hunt?
Can you get Venus to look your way,
    or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?
Do you know the first thing about the sky’s constellations
    and how they affect things on Earth?
“Can you get the attention of the clouds,
    and commission a shower of rain?
Can you take charge of the lightning bolts
    and have them report to you for orders?
“Who do you think gave weather-wisdom to the ibis,
    and storm-savvy to the rooster?
Does anyone know enough to number all the clouds
    or tip over the rain barrels of heaven
When the earth is cracked and dry,
    the ground baked hard as a brick?
“Can you teach the lioness to stalk her prey
    and satisfy the appetite of her cubs
As they crouch in their den,
    waiting hungrily in their cave?
And who sets out food for the ravens
    when their young cry to God,
    fluttering about because they have no food?”
“Do you know the month when mountain goats give birth?
    Have you ever watched a doe bear her fawn?
Do you know how many months she is pregnant?
    Do you know the season of her delivery,
    when she crouches down and drops her offspring?
Her young ones flourish and are soon on their own;
    they leave and don’t come back.
“Who do you think set the wild donkey free,
    opened the corral gates and let him go?
I gave him the whole wilderness to roam in,
    the rolling plains and wide-open places.
He laughs at his city cousins, who are harnessed and harried.
    He’s oblivious to the cries of teamsters.
He grazes freely through the hills,
    nibbling anything that’s green.
“Will the wild buffalo condescend to serve you,
    volunteer to spend the night in your barn?
Can you imagine hitching your plow to a buffalo
    and getting him to till your fields?
He’s hugely strong, yes, but could you trust him,
    would you dare turn the job over to him?
You wouldn’t for a minute depend on him, would you,
    to do what you said when you said it?
“The ostrich flaps her wings futilely—
    all those beautiful feathers, but useless!
She lays her eggs on the hard ground,
    leaves them there in the dirt, exposed to the weather,
Not caring that they might get stepped on and cracked
    or trampled by some wild animal.
She’s negligent with her young, as if they weren’t even hers.
    She cares nothing about anything.
She wasn’t created very smart, that’s for sure,
    wasn’t given her share of good sense.
But when she runs, oh, how she runs,
    laughing, leaving horse and rider in the dust.
“Are you the one who gave the horse his prowess
    and adorned him with a shimmering mane?
Did you create him to prance proudly
    and strike terror with his royal snorts?
He paws the ground fiercely, eager and spirited,
    then charges into the fray.
He laughs at danger, fearless,
    doesn’t shy away from the sword.
The banging and clanging
    of quiver and lance don’t faze him.
He quivers with excitement, and at the trumpet blast
    races off at a gallop.
At the sound of the trumpet he neighs mightily,
    smelling the excitement of battle from a long way off,
    catching the rolling thunder of the war cries.
“Was it through your know-how that the hawk learned to fly,
    soaring effortlessly on thermal updrafts?
Did you command the eagle’s flight,
    and teach her to build her nest in the heights,
Perfectly at home on the high cliff face,
    invulnerable on pinnacle and crag?
From her perch she searches for prey,
    spies it at a great distance.
Her young gorge themselves on carrion;
    wherever there’s a roadkill, you’ll see her circling.”

“Now what do you have to say for yourself?
    Are you going to haul me, the Mighty One, into court and press charges?”
“I have some more questions for you,
    and I want straight answers.
“Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?
    Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?
Do you have an arm like my arm?
    Can you shout in thunder the way I can?
Go ahead, show your stuff.
    Let’s see what you’re made of, what you can do.
Unleash your outrage.
    Target the arrogant and lay them flat.
Target the arrogant and bring them to their knees.
    Stop the wicked in their tracks—make mincemeat of them!
Dig a mass grave and dump them in it—
    faceless corpses in an unmarked grave.
I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you—
    you can surely save yourself with no help from me!
“Look at the land beast, Behemoth. I created him as well as you.
    Grazing on grass, docile as a cow—
Just look at the strength of his back,
    the powerful muscles of his belly.
His tail sways like a cedar in the wind;
    his huge legs are like beech trees.
His skeleton is made of steel,
    every bone in his body hard as steel.
Most magnificent of all my creatures,
    but I still lead him around like a lamb!
The grass-covered hills serve him meals,
    while field mice frolic in his shadow.
He takes afternoon naps under shade trees,
    cools himself in the reedy swamps,
Lazily cool in the leafy shadows
    as the breeze moves through the willows.
And when the river rages he doesn’t budge,
    stolid and unperturbed even when the Jordan goes wild.
But you’d never want him for a pet—
    you’d never be able to housebreak him!”
“Or can you pull in the sea beast, Leviathan, with a fly rod
    and stuff him in your creel?
Can you lasso him with a rope,
    or snag him with an anchor?
Will he beg you over and over for mercy,
    or flatter you with flowery speech?
Will he apply for a job with you
    to run errands and serve you the rest of your life?
Will you play with him as if he were a pet goldfish?
    Will you make him the mascot of the neighborhood children?
Will you put him on display in the market
    and have shoppers haggle over the price?
Could you shoot him full of arrows like a pin cushion,
    or drive harpoons into his huge head?
If you so much as lay a hand on him,
    you won’t live to tell the story.
What hope would you have with such a creature?
    Why, one look at him would do you in!
If you can’t hold your own against his glowering visage,
    how, then, do you expect to stand up to me?
Who could confront me and get by with it?
    I’m in charge of all this—I run this universe!
“But I’ve more to say about Leviathan, the sea beast,
    his enormous bulk, his beautiful shape.
Who would even dream of piercing that tough skin
    or putting those jaws into bit and bridle?
And who would dare knock at the door of his mouth
    filled with row upon row of fierce teeth?
His pride is invincible;
    nothing can make a dent in that pride.
Nothing can get through that proud skin—
    impervious to weapons and weather,
The thickest and toughest of hides,
“He snorts and the world lights up with fire,
    he blinks and the dawn breaks.
Comets pour out of his mouth,
    fireworks arc and branch.
Smoke erupts from his nostrils
    like steam from a boiling pot.
He blows and fires blaze;
    flames of fire stream from his mouth.
All muscle he is—sheer and seamless muscle.
    To meet him is to dance with death.
Sinewy and lithe,
    there’s not a soft spot in his entire body—
As tough inside as out,
    rock-hard, invulnerable.
Even angels run for cover when he surfaces,
    cowering before his tail-thrashing turbulence.
Javelins bounce harmlessly off his hide,
    harpoons ricochet wildly.
Iron bars are so much straw to him,
    bronze weapons beneath notice.
Arrows don’t even make him blink;
    bullets make no more impression than raindrops.
A battle ax is nothing but a splinter of kindling;
    he treats a brandished harpoon as a joke.
His belly is armor-plated, inexorable—
    unstoppable as a barge.
He roils deep ocean the way you’d boil water,
    he whips the sea like you’d whip an egg into batter.
With a luminous trail stretching out behind him,
    you might think Ocean had grown a gray beard!
There’s nothing on this earth quite like him,
    not an ounce of fear in that creature!
He surveys all the high and mighty—
    king of the ocean, king of the deep!”

Then Job spoke:
“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
    I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
    I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
    Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
    ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
    made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
    Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
    now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
    I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
(Job 38-42)

We should all take a page out of the book of Job and repeat after him:
“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
    I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
    I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
    Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
    ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
    made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
    Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
    now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
    I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

Bet you didn’t see this rant ending this way!? Well me neither actually …