We often ask God, Why? Why do these things occur, why do good people suffer? Why have I not got what I deserved, why has he/she got something they never deserved? Why….why….why?! The Psalms speak these questions better than I ever could, and it is well – God is more than equal to our real questions and our hurting hearts.
But yet, often enclosed within is a pride in a status we do not enjoy. Job, more than anybody, had reason and standing to ask Why – and expect answers. But yet, he came to the realisation that…
‘Tell us what we should say to him;Job 37 v19
we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
We cannot draw up our case, because we do not have the standing. Our darkness precludes it. Bad things do not happen to good people, because no-one is good.
All have turned away,Romans 3 v12
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
That is not to say that bad things occur to people because they must have sinned and therefore deserved everything coming to them! Don’t fall into that mistake – this is never a simple equation. But it is true that we have no rock within ourselves where we can stand to ask the questions and demand answers.
Walk with God long enough, and you will come to understand that you are the one to whom the questions are addressed. Perhaps we start by reading the Bible, but spend long enough in that activity, and you’ll find it is the Bible that reads you. And what we find in there is often excruciating. Like having a correct mirror held up to you after so many years of distortion, false coloured lenses and blinkers!
Excruciating. And also necessary. Unless you have the correct diagnosis, the prognosis never going to make any sense to you. There is a reason the Bible says
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.Luke 7 v47
Is it because there are some who do not need much forgiveness, the very holiest amongst us? No, rather because so many of us have little understanding of our own hearts and how much we need to be forgiven. Righteous in our own eyes, we can miss the very Gift that would allow us to be reconciled with the One who sees our ways and numbers all our steps.
So, perhaps we would do well to, like Job:
Brace yourself like a man (or woman!);Job 40 v7
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
The questioning will not be easy, it never is, but that road leads to the narrow Way of Salvation – Jesus Himself – and He is the Hope and the future that God desires for all of us!