On Sunday, we kicked off the new year by diving headlong into the happy-go-lucky Book of Job. (wink, wink)
Bottom line: We all have unanswered “Why?” questions.
We all struggle. We are all confused by God’s plan and God’s timing. We all want to know what He’s up to and why He does what He does. We turn to Job – a man who suffered mightily – and hope we’ll find answers to our “Why?” questions.
But we don’t.
God doesn’t answer the “Why?” questions of Job. (Even though has asks it 19 times!) He only answers the “Who?” question. Because Job is not a book about suffering. It’s a book about sovereignty.
He doesn’t answer the “Why?” because God knows the only answer that will ever bring peace is knowing the “Who?” I guess that’s why Job asks zero questions after God shows him who He is.
To find peace in the midst of suffering…we need to pursue, believe, and fall into the arms of the faithful, powerful, grace-giving Who.
In case you missed it, here’s the link to the audio.
PS. Here are a few quotes from the two books I referenced:
From Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life by Michele Cushatt…
“Where is my faith? In myself, more often than not. Which is why an unexpected squall – every last one of them over a span two years – unraveled me. A boat anchored to itself is not anchored at all.”
“I discovered that joy and strength and hope are possible even in the sick ward. Maybe more so. I learned that faith in the middle of the unknowns is the only real kind. And peace can’t be found in the past or future, but only in a Person, and in whom you believe him to be, today. And an unexpected life, as difficult and undone as it might be, could end up becoming the life you’ve been searching for all along.”
From A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry Sittser…
“It is not, therefore, the experience of loss that becomes the defining moment of our lives, for that is as inevitable as death, which is the last loss awaiting us all. It is how we respond to loss that matters. That response will largely determine the quality, the direction, and the impact of our lives.”
“God spare us a life of fairness! To live in a world with grace is better by far than to live in a world of absolute fairness. A fair world may make life nice for us, but only as nice as we are. We may get what we deserve, but I wonder how much that is and whether or not we would really be satisfied. A world with grace will give us more than we deserve. It will give us life, even in our suffering.”
“The Incarnation has left a permanent imprint on me. For three years now I have cried at every communion service I have attended. I have not only brought my pain to God but also felt as never before the pain God suffered for me. I have mourned before God because I know that God has mourned too. God understands suffering because God suffered.”