Way back in history, about when men first began to record their thoughts in writing, a guy named Job was the CEO of a huge and prosperous family business. Then one day all hell broke loose. Really. Satan let God know he could make Job hate the Lord. The Lord took Satan up on that challenge. So Satan began doing his worst work attacking the CEO! His children all died. His business lost all its assets. His health broke down. His wife wasn’t too friendly either. Friends came to “advise” him on what to do now. Their advice seemed more like salt in his wounds! Job complained to God and asked what was going on! No response. Job did it again and again. Finally God Himself responded to Job’s inquiries with His own voice. The questions were about justice, balance and fairness. Job thought he was a good guy who didn’t deserve all this trouble. And God had actually said he is, in fact, a good guy. The friends imagined that everything in the universe would balance – if you did good, you got good results – like prosperity. If you did bad things, you got bad results – like suffering. Since Job was clearly suffering, he must have done bad things. We know from the biblical story that Job was good, but received bad things, because Satan was trying to make Job hate God.
Job requested an audience with the just Judge, God. “Request” is putting it mildly! Job demanded God’s time and attention. The request itself gives an indication that Job still respected God as One who is just. He still believed God is good. It took quite a long time, but finally God granted Job an audience. So God spoke and Job listened! It’s interesting that He didn’t answer each of Job’s questions directly. He had heard them, but they didn’t need or warrant an answer. God spoke a greater truth to Job.
He said: I created everything. I manage all things. I am God. Who are you? What can you do?
Job was truly humbled. I love what job says: I had heard of you, but now I have seen you. Job knew the Lord before all the losses. He trusted Him and honored Him with worship and sacrifices. But after all the pain and the questions, after clearly and overtly expressing all his mental and emotional anguish, God reveals Himself personally and intimately to our friend Job. Job’s conclusion is: Now I know you so much better!
You are like Job in losses. Like him, you have lost a child. Are you like him by presenting your questions and complaints to the Lord? You can be like him in expressing your honest thoughts to the Lord of all. Go ahead; tell the Lord what bothers you. Then wait. You may have to wait a good while, but I believe He will meet the honest questioner, personally and intimately, just like He met Job. You can get to know Him better through this process. And it’s worth the time and investment.
The first question of the Westminster Catechism says: Q. 1. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. Job learned to enjoy God more deeply through all that had happened. You too, can spend the process of your grief moving in that direction. May the Lord meet you in your grief.