It’s hard to feel sick or to be hurting and all alone. It’s difficult to sit in silence. In those dark times, our thoughts wander and many questions bubble to the surface of our minds. What’s happening here, Lord? Is there a reason, a purpose for this trial in my life?
Reading the book of Job, we discover Job lost a whole lot – 7 sons, 3 daughters, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxen and 500 donkeys. He also experienced physical sickness, great pain, and discomfort. Job’s friends certainly were not the best band of encouragers. In fact, they worked hard to convince Job that he needed to confess his sin so that God would once again extend His hand of favor to Job. Their discourses with Job filled many chapters in this book.
Then the Lord comes in a whirlwind, breaks his silence, and proceeds to ask Job more than 70 questions. These questions pertain to creation and highlight God’s greatness.
“Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
~Job 38:3-7 (NLT)
Job looked into the whirlwind and he heard God speak. Most of us will never have an experience like that one. However, we benefit from God’s written word and can learn from Job’s response to the Lord.
“I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I – and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
~Job 42:2-6 (NLT)
God uses this amazing story to teach Job and generations of readers some valuable lessons about Himself. Remember back in chapter one, Satan says, “But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.” (Job 1:11) Satan assumed that Job only feared God because he had been blessed with children and wealth and he enjoyed good health. So, the test began. God granted permission to Satan saying, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” (Job 2:6)
When we are sick, grieving the death of a loved one, unemployed, or feeling all alone, what do we think about God? Will we love God no matter what’s going on in our lives? Is He a good God? Will we love God even if He doesn’t provide answers to all of our questions?
God allows hard things in our lives to get our attention. Why? So we will trust Him more. He is worthy of our first love, praise, and focus because He alone is the mighty Lord!
What’s going on in your life today? What difficult situation has grabbed your attention and stolen your joy? Take some time to be alone with God, bow before Him, open your hands, and pour out your heart to Him. Consider the lessons He is teaching you and tell Him that you desperately need Him in the midst of life’s trials.