SAINT WENCESLAUS, MARTYR (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
How much less shall I . . . choose out arguments against him?
Job is a blameless and upright man who fears God and always turns away from evil (Job 1:1). Yet he’s suffering—and he wants to know why. Job is angry that God seems to be silent. And the questions Job asks, in this reading and throughout the book, are familiar. Why do some good people suffer? What do calamity and loss say about the all-powerful God? Why does an all-loving God tolerate atrocities? And why doesn’t God answer my prayers?
Job acknowledges what he knows about God: he is “wise in heart and mighty in strength” (Job 9:4). God “does great things past finding out, marvelous things beyond reckoning” (9:10). Job knows he can’t argue against God. But his questions can’t be easily dismissed either. So Job continues to challenge the assertions of his four friends about who God is. He even challenges God himself!
And that’s the point. Job didn’t throw up his hands and lie in the dirt and die. Even in his anger and frustration, he persisted and kept questioning the Lord. He didn’t get all the answers he was looking for, even when God eventually revealed himself to Job. But when he encountered God, he could finally say, “By hearsay I had heard of you, but now my eye has seen you” (Job 42:5).
When we find ourselves wondering why God allows painful things to happen in our lives, Job can be our model for how to keep going back to the Lord and posing those difficult questions. You don’t have to be afraid to challenge him or ask him to help you understand who he is and how he’s working in your life or in the lives of your loved ones.
God may give you insight into a situation or help you understand his ways more clearly. But even if you don’t get satisfactory answers to your questions, know that God is pleased that, like Job, you continue to seek him out, even when your faith is being tested. Some things we won’t truly understand until we get to heaven. But the best answer any of us can ever receive is God himself assuring us that he is always by our side!
“Lord God, help me to always trust in your goodness and mercy.”
Job 9:1-12, 14-16