We all ask it
As I sit here this week to write the companion words to what was a powerful Sunday, I find myself feeling unworthy. Perhaps like no other week before it, I implore you to just watch this week. From the opening words of Steve and Lorinna’s poignant story to the weight of Grant’s single sentence summary of the story of Job, it was a week which challenged our understanding of who God is and offered great hope.
It is universally true that our experience of trouble and suffering produces a single, fundamental question within us — Why?! Why is this happening to me? Why did it have to happen? Why now? There seem to be an endless amount of ways to finish or more specifically define the question of why.
A man, his friends and his God
It’s one of the oldest (if not the oldest) book in the Bible, and we know the story well. God is having a staff meeting of the angels and Satan shows up. God engages Satan and ultimately suggests the name of Job. Satan acts like he’s not falling for God’s challenge, pointing out that Job is a “blameless and upright” guy because God has thrown up this protective barrier around him and blessed him materially. “Of course Job loves God, look at what he has,” is the essence of what Satan says. God twice allows Satan to take away the things Satan is convinced are the reason why Job praises and loves God. And twice Job responds in a way that causes God to say that he didn’t sin in how he responded.
Most of us can’t imagine (nor do we want to) the pain that Job endured. Many of us might be the kind of friends that judged Job for why this trouble was being heaped on him. But Job remained faithful, and in the end, God restored everything Job lost and more. God never gave Satan free rein, and He never turned His back on Job. Our story of trouble and suffering in this life may not look like Job’s or Steve and Lorinna’s, but trouble comes to us all. We all experience testing and pain. Who are we in the midst of it? Can God say of us that “in all this, <fill in your name> did not sin in charging God with wrong doing.” (God’s words in Job 1:22)
God did give an answer
We are so incapable of answering the question of why, but God does. There’s a stirring and powerful narrative as God responds to Job’s question which ends with the basic, but ABSOLUTE truth that “God is God, and we are not.” Job humbly confesses that. There is so much more truth and power in God’s words, and I strongly encourage you to read the book of Job to experience it more fully.
In the final analysis, Job’s friends are corrected, but Job is found faithful. What about you? What has been your experience in asking the question of God? What will you see and learn in being exposed to the story of Job again, and how will it change you and your response going forward? Do not move on with your life without really considering what this week is speaking into it. Thank you, Steve and Lorinna for sharing your story with us and with the honest admission that God is healing you. We surround you in love and support as He does.