We’ve all seen our fair share of storms. Sometimes, these seasons seem to last forever and sometimes they are brief whirlwinds. But pretty much all of us at some point ask the question ‘Why?’
I’m in the midst of my own storm and I’m very familiar with that question. It’s one that’s haunted my path and taunted me with doubts. The search for an answer has not only consumed my thoughts, it’s swallowed my praise.
My search led me to the book of Job this morning and it was there that I had an epiphany.
Job never read the book of Job.
Ok, I know. Duh. But seriously, from Job chapter 1, verse 6 we are privy to God’s reasons. We know that God was pleased with Job and when the devil asked permission to tempt Job, God granted it.
We see clearly throughout the book that God is always in complete control of the situation, that satan can’t do a thing without God’s permission, and that the reason behind all the testing is to prove that Job is a Godly man and to make him even more of one.
But Job had no idea what was going on! He lost everything; he was brought to the lowest point any of us can experience on earth. And he never knew why.
He questioned God the way we do. He was human and he wanted an explanation, just as many of us do. And, like many of us, he may have even felt entitled to one.
He got an answer, but not an explanation. Job 38-41 records God’s answer to this just man who felt unjustly afflicted. It is truly humbling. I wish I could record it here, but space fails me so let me sum up:
“Because I am God, and you are not.” -God
We are granted the tiniest of glimpses as God’s might through these few verses. More importantly, we are shown that God owes no man, either explanation or blessing. Sometimes He does give us answers, but He doesn’t have to, as so many of us (*raises hand*) seem to think.
Job presumably went to his grave never knowing the reason behind the darkest days of his existence. But he still praised God.
Phil. 1:29 tells us:
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,”
See that? ‘Granted.’ As though to suffer for Him were a gift and an honor. Funny how we never ask Him ‘why’ when it’s sunny.
It is not a sin to bring our questions to God. Just look at the book of Psalms. But it’s dangerous to obsess over the answer, especially when one of the reasons we want it is so that we can manipulate the situation. “Why me?” very quickly turns into “How do I make it stop?”
God has a plan. And it is a good plan, because He is good. He is in control. He doesn’t owe us an explanation for what He allows to happen to us, or for the blessings He withholds from us.
He doesn’t owe me an answer. But I still owe Him praise.
Casting Crowns released a song awhile ago called ‘Praise You in this Storm,’ and I have been trying to do that. But I think that true obedience and faith goes even further than that.
From here on out, through the strengthening and enabling of the Holy Spirit, I’m going to praise You for the storm.