If you have read any of my posts over the last few months, you may recall that I've been studying the book of Job in the Old Testament. I finally got to the end the other day, yet I'm still thinking about a crazy section in it that I came across toward the end of the book, in chapter 39.
In six silly verses in the center of this chapter, God speaks to Job about the ostrich. Huh???? What does the ostrich, of all things, have to do with Job's horrific suffering and his demand for vindication as a righteous man? Honestly, it's hilarious. You should take a look. Job 39:13-18. Go read it now. It's as if God's saying "Look at this crazy thing I came up with. Yes, I made this wondrous bird. You can't possibly make any sense out of it, so stop thinking you could ever fully understand my mind, either. Look how silly it is!" Even though I've seen these odd creatures various times in zoo captivity, I did a bit of research to learn more. Here are some of the crazy tidbits I found:
Job 39:14 Mothers lay their eggs and leave them totally unprotected on the ground.
Job 39:15 The mother doesn't care if predators stomp on them or steal them. Oh well.
Job 39:16 The mother ostrich has no maternal instincts; her labor and delivery didn't enamor her to her babies. Job 39:17 The ostrich is dumb. It has no common sense. Job 39:18 At least it can run fast.
Perhaps God means to show Job through the ostrich that every creature, whether familiar, mysterious, difficult, or odd, is similar to suffering. Sometimes we can recognize its purpose, but other times it's simply painful and puzzling. Whether we understand our suffering or not, it seems to be part of God's order for us at times. Who'd of thought there was such a message for us from the ostrich? A strange beast, indeed!