It’s been a rough couple of weeks.
In the beginning, my attitude towards each situation was selfish and I threw a few pity parties. Then I had one of those “out-of-body” experiences and saw myself living like my life’s glass is half empty. My attitude resembled a temper tantrum similar to one that my daughter throws when things don’t go her way. I questioned God and wondered why He let certain things happen.
Now, I believe that it’s only part of our human nature to question God, for even Job challenged His plan.
So, I invite you to explore the book of Job with me. Reading this book of the Bible, along with other articles, has given me insight into the character of God, and an understanding of the incomprehensible.
Here is what I know to be true:
- Job had horrible circumstances.
- He lost his family, wealth, and his health.
- His wife was not supportive.
- Job’s friends suggested that he deserved those sufferings.
The following is my short paraphrase of the interactions between Job and God:
Job questions God and asks why these horrible things were happening to him.
“Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (3:11)
“Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?” (3:16)
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave? Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?” (3:20-23)
Job speaks of the unsearchable wisdom of God.
But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know the way to it,
and it is not found in the land of the living . . .
God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place. (28:12–13, 23)
God asks, “Who are you to question me? I am God. “
“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. (38:2-4)
“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” (42:2)
Job agrees with God and replies, “You are right, I will stop talking and listen to you.”
“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more. ” (40:4-5)
God asks again, “Who are you? Are you God?”
“Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?” (40:8-109)
Job magnifies the power of God and relinquished his control.
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (42:2-6)
I believe that God validates our feelings of frustration, but He doesn’t want them to control our actions. It’s ok to feel down and question God’s plan (for He gave us those emotions), but God wants us to rise above our situation, realize that He is in control, and let go of our need to understand why.
The song “You Know Better Than I” (Yes, the song from that DreamWorks “Joseph King of Dreams” movie), says it perfectly:
I thought I did what’s right
I thought I had the answer
I thought I chose the surest road
But that road led me here
So I put up a fight
And told You how to help me
And just when I had given up
The truth is coming clear
For You know better than I
You know the way
I’ve let go, the need to know why
Cause You know better than I
You see, our human perspective is skewed.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
― John Lubbock
We are detail orientated people, but only God is able see the big picture. It’s similar to a child wanting to play with matches and they get upset after their parents take them away. That child doesn’t have the capacity to understand why the parent took those fun toys away, but the parent knows that they were keeping their child safe.
What if we started looking at our lives through God’s eyes? Sometimes we become so focused on our tiny brushstrokes. We question their color, texture, and location. We don’t understand why, but God does. He paints with a purpose. Every drop of paint has been laid down according to His perfect plan.
Will you relinquish your need to know why?
Will you give glory to God in the good times and the bad?
Ask God to give you a different perspective, and I believe He will bring you clarity as He did with me.