Gifts That Cannot Be Destroyed

Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

Humility Improves View Of Life

by Eric Elkin

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
— Job 38:4b

It’s been an interesting past few weeks on planet earth. The natural inclination of humans to flirt with self-destruction has danced alongside the natural world’s propensity to destroy. One we want to control, the other we only hope to predict, react and avoid.


When perestroika led to radical changes in the old Soviet Union, it seemed an end to the Cold War. Perhaps we could live in a world without the threat of nuclear destruction. Instead, smaller nations, eager to be players on a larger scale, developed nuclear capabilities. Instead of curtailing the threat, it only opened a new page in the story of human aggression.


The military news around the world is alarming. China is developing a major naval installation in the South Pacific Sea. Literally, building a man-made island to house their weapons of mass destruction. Russia continues to be more aggressive in inviting a conflict. The United States remains engaged in military action across the globe. 


Few experts see the “peaceful” meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jung Un, as a long-term step towards denuclearization. Many people, thrown off by the unpredictability of both leaders, are skeptical of any accord being agreed upon. The world seems like a volcano on the verge of eruption.

Which, in several places, is precisely what is happening. Volcano eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala bear witness to human frailty. When the earth decides to act, it acts without discretion of human life. These ground forces will soon be followed by air attacks. That is tornados and hurricanes which will sweep their destruction from the sky.  


It is a violent world. For the most part, the violence seems far out of our control. Humans may want to consider a dose of humility in how they approach these conditions. A point God makes in this verse in Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?”


Life has a way of humbling those who pose as masters of it. Over and over again, we are reminded of this fact, both by our own actions and those we cannot control. And, over and over again, we try to disprove it with reckless arrogance. 


We are not masters of anything, but caretakers of gifts placed in our care. Caretakers value all life and teach others to value it as well. They are not afraid of being broken, for they know the master heals. It frees them up to experience the real gifts of life -- compassion, joy, love, and hope. These gifts cannot be destroyed.

Click to read Job 38: 1-11

Reflection Questions:

  • When have you felt helpless to forces beyond your control?
  • How can humility help you cope with these conditions?
  • How is God at work in your life today?
  • Where would you want help?

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