Every so often I will see a sign in front of a church that says something about it being me who moved if I don’t feel close to God. While it is true that God does not abandon His children, there are times when He is silent. God’s silence does not mean that He is distant. Sometimes He is silent because of His great patience and His great love for us. While Job was losing all of his children and all of his earthly possessions and his health, God did not speak to him. However, God did leave Job his wife, who told him to curse God and die. Finally, Job’s friends became an emotional pain to add to the physical pain He was already feeling (since he also lost his health).
We know more about why Job was suffering then Job did at the time. We know this because we are given a glimpse into God’s throne Room at the beginning of the book, where we discover that there is something bigger going on. There is a lesson that is being demonstrated that goes beyond Job. It is only at the end of the book, when God begins to speak to Job that we discover that there God was training Job as well. God was teaching Job to trust God, even when Job could not see or understand what God was doing. To me, this is one of the hardest lessons to learn. I understand in my head that God is The Creator and that God loves me and is working everything in my life, even my mistakes, into something good, to teach me and others and to bring us into the full, free and abundant life of joy that God originally planned for us. But, in my frailty I want to see and understand the end result. Just like Job, I want to know why.
When if feels like I am distant from God, I remember Job. I remember that I did not name each of the stars, nor have I entered the storehouses of snow or hail. When I remember how small I am in the entirety of creation, I bow in awe that The One who created all of this has chosen to call me His child and to bestow His love upon me. Then, my attitude changes to one of wonder, awe and gratitude, and I discover once again that God is always with me, he will never leave me or forsake me.