Read: Job 38:1-41 and 39:1-30

Job asks God, “Why?” after enduring deep suffering. Job’s friends try to answer Job but fail miserably. And at this pivotal moment, God Himself answers.

Well, He does, and He doesn’t. He responds to Job’s questions with more questions.

God has a lot to say to Job, but he doesn’t explain why God has allowed tragedy to come upon Job. Instead, God questions whether or not Job was there when the earth’s foundations were laid (38:4), or if he helped set the limits of the sea (38:11), or if he’s seen the storehouses of snow and hail (38:22), or if he directs the world’s wildlife (39:9, 13, 19, 26 and on and on). What’s the implication?

That Job is small, and God is big.

So it is true that our pain is real, and our questions come from the depths of the pit. But trying to understand how it fits into the grand picture that God is painting in our broken world is like explaining to a baby why they’re getting a vaccine. Rather than attempting that, a good parent says:

You just have to trust me.

Reflection:

  1. Do you think that God’s answer to Job was insufficient? Does it frustrate you? Or does it fundamentally reframe the questions that we have?
  2. Now more directly: How does acknowledging the greatness and vastness of God impact how we think about our various forms of suffering?

Dear God, I first thank you that in my pain, you accept me as I am, not as I should be. But I am also challenged by the response you gave Job. You didn’t give him the answers he wanted, but you reminded him that you are bigger than he could possibly imagine. Remind me of that today. In Jesus’ name, amen.