Out of the Whirlwind

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind”

Job 38:1

Have you ever been caught up in a whirlwind? Seemingly out of nowhere they can spring up and wreak havoc in their wake. In Job 1:19 we read that Job’s children were killed when “a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people…” That verse might not mean much to most people but when you have lost a loved one, especially a child, you understand full well the force a whirlwind wields.  

For me and my family and some of our dearest friends April 12 is a day that feels much like a whirlwind. The phrase “whirlwind experience” might be best described as a situation in which you experience a lot of different emotions, or a lot of different things happen, one after another. The whirlwind of April 12 began back in 1987 when a beautiful baby girl graced the world by her birth to our friends Tink and Sherrill. From her earliest years, Danielle Marie Gould loved to dance and the world quickly became her stage but not in a self centered way as if she was trying to bring attention to her self, it was more like her life became a divine dance as she sought to turn the spotlight on Jesus as she set out to magnify Him.

In many ways Danielle’s entire life seems like a whirlwind as she was only 17 when she went home to be with Jesus on August 20, 2004. Today marks yet another birthday celebration held in her honor without her here. If you think it gets easier with each passing year, it does not. For a variety of reasons this year may be the hardest. Just when you feel like you are catching your breath, another year passes and it hits you again. It’s hard to believe that she is gone because like her life, Danielle’s love was unique, never to be replaced fully by any human substitute. Tink and Sherrill along with their family and some close friends will with joy celebrate her birthday today all the while searching for moments full of her that will carry us through yet another year without her.  

It was on April 12, 2012 that my wife and I learned we were going to be grandparents for the very first time. Not many things can compare to being grandparents and in 2019 as we currently enjoy three grandchildren we are expecting two more this year!  Jump ahead two years and again on April 12, 2014, I had the privilege of officiating the wedding of David and Candice, a sweet young couple in our church family. I’ll forget a lot of weddings I have performed but I will never forget theirs as while I was performing their wedding ceremony, my dad stepped from this life into eternity. I had just spoken with him before I went to the wedding and was on my way back to the hospital afterwards when I received the news of his death. Talk about a whirlwind experience. No matter where I am at or what I am doing I am constantly aware of his absence.

Yes, loved one, April 12 will always be a whirlwind day in the Gould’s and the Osthimer household. A day filled with both joy and sorrow, laughter and tears. The comfort we all know today comes from God, knowing we will see our loved ones again one day. The struggle both families face is existing in two places, here and where they are. The good news is that even in the midst of our whirlwind experiences in this life that each of us must endure, God speaks. Job 38:1 serves as a reminder today that there is no force, not even death that can silence God. I find comfort in that, especially today. God was there with Job’s children in Job 1 as the mighty wind struck the house, God was with Danielle the night of her accident as He was with my dad in his hospital bed. Just as God answered Job out of the whirlwind, Jesus promised us that He would be with you and me in the midst of ours as He Himself said in Matthew 28:20, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.” It is why David could pen the words of Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me…”

 Please, don’t miss the point. Remember the dilemma Job struggled with during his trial was the “perceived absence” of God’s presence in his life. When God came to Job out of the whirlwind, He didn’t come to answer Job’s question, God came as the Answer to Job’s question. God drew near! What God did for Job, God did for me and you to by sending His Only Son to die for us. God drew near! We might never get an answer for the many questions we wrestle with but what we do get is something that means so much more. We get God. Answers to our questions don’t necessarily bring us peace, but God does. More than answers, God wants to give you and me peace today, a peace that passes understanding, a peace that comes from being with Him.

Maybe April 12 is a whirlwind for you like it is for me and some that I love. May April 12 also be a day when God draws near to you. Remember that no matter how loud the storms of this life get, none are a match for the voice of God. Let His voice speak to you as you read and study His Word. Be reminded again and again that God is there. Invite Jesus to calm the storms of your life, not by speaking to the wind and the sea, but speaking to your heart reminding you that in every trial you face and every storm you must pass through, you are never alone, for God is there!

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27  


Michael Osthimer





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