Why Is God Doing This To Me?
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:9-10
One of the oldest questions that has ever been voiced is the question, “Why? God! Why do you allow suffering?” You find that question voiced by a man whose name was Job and you read about him in the book that bears his name.
Who was Job? In her book What the Bible is all About, Henrietta Mears wrote, “Job may be one of the most ancient pieces of finished literature in existence. It is certainly one of the oldest, if not the oldest books in the Bible.” And what’s the issue that the author wrote about? One of the oldest questions that anyone ever voiced, Why is there suffering in the world? And why do Godly people, in particular, suffer? Never will I forget the encounter I had with an 80-year-old veteran who lay in the hospital in intense pain and he looked up and asked, “Why do I lay here and suffer? Why doesn’t God just take me home!” I was in my mid-20s at the time and certainly didn’t have a satisfying answer, yet the book of Job comes closer to addressing this problem than any other biblical book.
Now 60 years later if you’re expecting me to give you an answer in the next three minutes, don’t hold your breath. Yet, I have learned some of the lessons that Job learned, especially that we will never fully understand the reason why good people–moral, upright, generous, committed, and, yes, even righteous face pain and suffering while blasphemous, immoral, foul-mouthed individuals seem to avoid the sick bed. C. S. Lewis, professor of Medieval English at Cambridge addressed the problem of suffering in his book, The Problem of Pain. One of my favorite authors, Phil Yancey teamed up with Dr. Paul Brand, a dedicated surgeon and wrote two books about pain and suffering. Brand believed that pain was actually a blessing from God.
Job, the man who tried to make sense of pain and suffering, was “blameless before God. He was “upright” and the Hebrew words means “straight.” He feared God, and He “shunned evil.” Job’s friends, of course, believed they knew why Job was confronted with suffering. But this we know. Job found God in the midst of his suffering and heart cried out, “Why me, God?”
Take time to read the last chapter of the book that bears his name. In this you will hear the heart cry of a broken man who says, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5). The book concludes saying, “And job died an old man, and full of days” (Job 42:17).
Far better than having an answer to the question, “Why me?” or “Why us?” is coming to understand that God has not chosen you as an object of affliction and persecution, but He does meet us in the very dark nights of our pain and anguish and show us something of His grace and goodness–His unrelenting love.
Many know there is a God and acknowledge something of His power and greatness, but it is in the valley that we hear the whisper of His voice saying, “My child, remember my son knows exactly how you feel. He experienced the nails of the Roman centurion for your healing and redemption. Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. My presence will abide with you until it’s time to come home.”
Resource reading: Hebrews 4:14-16