February 14, 2020

Transforming the Question

“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.” Job 42:3 (NLT2)

If ever there was a guy who had a very, very, very bad day, it was Job. In fact, he had two very bad days intended to make him deny his faith and forsake his God.  We know the story. Job didn’t. Like our stories that are written in 24-hour segments of time, Job’s unfolded one day after another with greater measure of confusion and pain. The mental anguish of not understanding the reason drove him to ask the question Why, Lord?  With no end in sight, he asked the Lord to take his life. He didn’t want to live in such pain anymore! Yet, when he finally encounters God at the end of his story, we find something remarkable about the unanswered questions we struggle with in life – knowing God is more important than knowing why.

There’s no record that God ever revealed the why to Job in his lifetime, but He did reveal Himself and His love for Job despite the circumstances and suffering Job endured.  Maybe you can relate. Hopefully you’ll never encounter the extent of suffering Job did, but your pain is real, nonetheless.  Your questions can leave you just as dumbfounded and disillusioned. Anyone who has ever suffered senseless loss and heartbreaking grief has asked “Why?” “Why, Lord is this happening?” “Why us?” “Why me?” It’s a natural response.

As with Job, our perspective is limited to our time and space. We can only see this day. Job’s story, though, offers another perspective, one that we can not possibly see or understand, one that requires trust in the goodness of God. Beyond our finite understanding is an infinite eternal God who is at work in our behalf and He loves us far more than we can possibly imagine. When we draw conclusions about God based on our circumstances, like Job, we speak about things we know nothing about, things too wonderful for us to understand. Maybe there’s a better question to ask. Transform the question from “Why, Lord?” to “What now is my relationship to You, O God?”  “How does my dependence on You change how I live these next 24 hours?”  Asking those questions assumes the God you trusted with everything in your life can be trusted with the “Why?” as well.  You don’t need Him to answer that question for you anymore, and the things you do next won’t depend on understanding the reason for what you’re going through.

You may never get over those really, really bad days, but transforming the question will help you get through them and bring you into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God than you’ve ever known. You become grounded in the fact that He is in control. He loves you. He will never lose sight of you or fail to provide what you need. He will be your only source and supply even if He must enlist the most unlikely means imaginable. Your only responsibility will be to lean on Him and let Him care for you and give Him the opportunity to demonstrate through your life the amazing things He can do! Because one day, like Job, everything will be alright! I love the end of his story – “so the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. …” Job 42:12a (NLT)