Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. -Job 23:24
Reading parts of Job is often reminiscent of my teenage journal. I can easily picture the friends I thought would support me during trials instead wondering what I had done wrong. I would go home at night and ask myself: Where is God? If only I could meet Him, bargain my suffering, and make Him realize I don’t deserve this pain!
Job didn’t understand how God could punish him when he was such a loyal believer. How often do we hear the phrase “bad things happen to good people” but never the response, “bad things happen to everyone?” As humans we strive for the 2+2=4 answers to suffering and ignore two important facts.
- God is all-knowing in His plans for us.
- We cannot put Him into a box to define Him.
No matter how unjust circumstances may seem, especially when bad things happen to people who don’t “deserve” it, we must have faith that God has something larger in store for us. It is not up to us to decide how God works because we simply can’t. In both of our readings today we get a clearer understanding that His justice is not the same as our justice.
In Acts 10, Peter is reminded of this as well. When he enters the household of Cornelius, a Roman who could have put him in serious danger, Peter is faced with a great question. How can this unlikely man, living in a culture that stands against everything I know, be reaching out to me to know of Jesus? He soon finds clarity:
Then Peter began to speak: “I know realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” -Acts 10: 34-35
Sometimes our greatest obstacles grant us the most understanding.