Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. –Job 1:13-22
There is a plan that we explore which we will not understand, but it is best. Though each segment of it may not seem fair or pleasant, it works together for good. The disease Job endured wasn’t good in and of itself. Hardly! But it worked together for good. Our perspective is dreadfully limited. We see only a pinpoint of time, but God’s view is panoramic. God’s big-picture, cosmic plan is at work now, and He doesn’t feel the need (nor is He obligated) to explain it to us. If He tried, our answer would be like the confused teenager listening to his calculus teacher, “What?” You wouldn’t get it, nor would I. Just remember, the Father knows what is best for His children. Rest in that realization.
There are consequences we experience that we could not anticipate, but they are necessary. I don’t know where you find yourself today, but I would be willing to wager that most of you reading this book are going through something that is unfair. Chances are good that you simply don’t deserve what’s happening. The consequences may have started to get to you. You didn’t anticipate any of this. You didn’t think it would come to this, but it has. Trust me here. What has happened is a necessary part of your spiritual growth. Yes, necessary. I’ve finally begun to accept that reality after all these years of my life.
I want to address you who have moved onto Job’s turf. If nothing else, it has prepared you to pay closer attention to the message of Job. You’ve seen only a glimpse of how things started. The story doesn’t end with Satan’s departing from the presence of the Lord. There’s a whole lot more to Job’s story. And the more it unfolds, the more you will realize that life is not only difficult, it’s unfair.
The silence of God’s voice will make you wonder if He is even there. And the absence of God’s presence will make you wonder if He even cares. He is there. And He does care.