The Old Testament book of Job is littered with things said against God by Job himself. He wrangles with the Presence of the Lord as the Divine One has seemingly interceded, deplorably, in his own life. God may not have willed the present challenges, but it seems God has certainly allowed them.
So what is the purpose of Job blaming God?
Just what could be the reason behind it, for there has to be a reason?
Let’s take a brief aside...
The further we journey with God the more we are able to understand that the things of God are a mystery; so faith in God is just that – trust, despite there being every reason not to trust. (Faith by its nature is trust – a stumbling block for so many.) Trusting in the perfect faithfulness of God wins us over to favour eventually. Indeed, favour is only reconciled through faith to trust.
Can we blame God and trust him at the same time? If we have been dealt a severe blow, and if we are being real about how we really feel, we will not be happy, unless we are made happy by a hope for a better outcome in the future: to recover, for instance.
Perhaps we journey to a better understanding of God through our blame; being able to pray to God words of derision instead of simply turning away. It takes a brave person to challenge God and not reject him; a person who has the faith to hold open the possibility that there is a reason, a purpose, for their suffering. God should not disparage those who seek an answer.
What is possibly the purpose of suffering?
Of many potential purposes for the struggles we endure, for the losses we suffer, for the grief we must bear, is the purpose of learning for life.
Perhaps we can see it took something of this to open our eyes: the eyes of our hearts. Not that we were heartless beforehand. But we certainly have an acuity for the issues of suffering in our world when we have been woken out of our spiritual slumber. Suddenly we have learnt warmth, genuineness and empathy.
We may blame God, feeling slightly uncomfortable by the prospect if we are honest, but we can also see that God doesn’t condemn us for it. God didn’t condemn Job and God won’t condemn us.
The right response in suffering is to look heavenward, frequently, and search God and seek him to reveal his purposes: “What is this for, God? Why have you done this, or allowed this?” Then we may find the answer comes – “I have nothing against you, my child. I wish only the best for you. Will you believe for the best out of this? Will you trust me? I seek to bless you.” The rest is a mystery.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.