Recent happenings in the lives of loved ones has me once again wrestling with an age-old question: why. Why was this allowed to occur? Why has this not happened yet? Why?
In many ways, I find myself in a similar place as when I wrote the post Seasons. Its a time of wondering, of wrestling, of balancing life’s circumstances on this fallen planet with the Truth of God’s Word and His promises.
My quad group (four ladies reading through the Bible in a year together) just finished the book of Job yesterday. How timely! After chapter upon chapter of Job’s laments and his friends’ off-based judgments, God finally speaks and sets the record straight. Interestingly, He never gives the reason for His actions. He simply reminds Job of who He is and that “whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.” (Job 41.11) Though Job’s circumstances did not immediately change, his confession certainly did upon seeing who God is. “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted…I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You.” (Job 42.2, 5)
What struck me most of all was that last statement: I have heard of You but now I see You. Job had known of God in the blessed times, but it was in the times of deep trial that he saw God Himself. Job’s perspective shifted from the difficulty of his circumstances to God’s magnitude above and amidst it all. This did not diminish the severity of what Job had experienced. Rather it allowed him a greater perspective of who God was in spite of them. Though Job’s life had been turned upside down, God who loved him remained sovereign and supreme. Through this dark valley, Job received the greatest gift of all: he gained personal knowledge of the Almighty for himself.
The Book of Job closes with beautiful restoration as verse 12 records, “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” I can’t help but wonder how much more Job valued all he was given after loosing everything. Each possession and privilege – a blessing. Each new child born – a gift. Such a treasured perspective that could only be gained from loosing it all. And interestingly enough, there is no record that Job ever knew the original why to his suffering. Nevertheless he gained a priceless gift in the midst.
I’m sure I’ll always grapple with life’s hard circumstances, always struggle with wondering why. But in the not knowing, I pray that I’ll be able to remember God reigns supreme above it all and that all things allowed to occur can be worked out for my good according to His purpose of conforming my life to the likeness of Christ (Romans 8.28-29). And perhaps in looking back on life’s mountaintops and deep valleys, I’ll be able to see all the hidden treasures therein. It may not remove the real pain of challenging times but it will provide His peace that surpasses all understanding.