Job was in a season of crisis.
Just to review, he was known as a wealthy and Godly man. After God had celebrated his faithfulness, the enemy of our souls said that it was only because he was prosperous. So his belongings and family were destroyed. In contrast to those of us who praise God only when things are going well, Job continued to be faithful. So he lost his health. And he continued to be faithful.
A series of friends spoke to him, arguing that he must have done something wrong, that he must have failed in a way that meant that he had this coming to him. Eventually, Job summarizes his situation. “If I had done anything wrong, I would understand. But I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m calling out to God. And God is ignoring me. Which is simply not right.”
Job’s words are familiar to us, even if the degree of his situation isn’t. We face losses. Sometimes loss after loss after loss. And we say, “But I haven’t done anything wrong. At least not much. I’m calling out to God to fix it. And God isn’t fixing it.”
God finally responds to Job, at length. But he doesn’t give Job the answers that he wants, the answers that we would want. In response to Job’s desire for reasons, for explanations, for justifications, God offers nothing.
Instead, God describes all the actions in creation that he has done. All the ways things work together.
It’s not the kind of answer that would satisfy many of us now. There would be a desire for scientific explanations and descriptions, for rational models.
But for Job, this answer leads to trust.
“You know more than I do, your power is vast. Your ways are not my ways, but I will trust your ways.”
Sometimes the answer we get in the middle of crisis is not an answer, it’s the presence of one who is capable of holding our hand and our questions. Rather than waiting for, we are able to wait with.
It’s still hard.