Like Job, I get it backwards. I think that God should tell me specifically why my problems are necessary and what he is doing. Laughably, I assume that I could understand the answers.
When Job demanded that God answer for his mortal suffering, it was like a showdown scene in the movies. “Start talking,” someone snaps. The situation has reached crisis pitch and someone is being called to answer for the ways things have gone.
As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself. – Job 13:3 (NLT)
But that wasn’t quite how things played out. God had listened to every word Job had said to him and about him, and God did respond, but not to answer for anything. God would be the one asking the questions.
Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. – Job 38:3 (NLT)
And then God gave Job an earful. Through God’s questions to Job, God demonstrated his detailed care for his creation—and that humankind is not capable of comprehending what the all-knowing, all-powerful God is doing (Job 38-40). God’s message to Job in a nutshell: I’m God and you’re not.
Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have all the answers? – Job 40:2 (NLT)
But God’s reply to Job suggests to me that Job could not have comprehended the reasons for his suffering. That he simply could not have seen it from where he was.
That may be true for me, too. However, that doesn’t mean God wants me to stop communicating with him about my pain, or that he will not communicate with me. The Psalms (Psalm 40 being a prime example) encourage me that God wants to hear what I have to say, even when my immature soul and my unrefined spirit are babbling nonsense to him.
Just as he did with Job and with the Psalmists, God will take my chin in his hand, and redirect my gaze to where it needs to be to see that he is my advocate and that he is saving me. He is the one who can help me. He loves me and I just need to trust him, even when his methods appear… painfully awry.
Do you—like Job—have some questions for God about what he is doing? My books Stay and Faith with Grit are for those who are traveling a difficult road and need for God to gently cup their faces in his hand. Subscribe to my emails for book updates.