Gird your loins!
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? ~ Job:38:1-7
God is a little sarcastic here.
I mean, Job has a right to be upset. He has suffered. And not in a small way. He's literally lost everything: property, health, and family.
And in the midst of this (and after the nagging of some friends), he goes to town on blaming God.
Who hasn't been there?
The story of Job is a wonderful piece of wisdom literature from the Hebrew scriptures. It seems to fully get *us.* It know who we are. It knows what we feel when we can't understand why we suffer so much.
And yet through the Book of Job, we get perspective. It tells us in no uncertain terms that suffering isn't something to be understood, anymore than we can understand how to lay the foundations of the earth.
God is bigger than we could ever fathom.
And yet, later we find in Job that God is not immune to our suffering. God's love doesn't fail during suffering.
And later, much later than the Book of Job was written, we will find out that God not only has compassion for our suffering, but that God was willing to suffer God's self to the fullest extent in solidarity with us.
Your ways are not my ways, dear Lord. Help me in the midst of suffering to know your presence and feel your compassion, even when I cannot understand the cause of my pain. Amen