You may be familiar with the story of Job – a fine, upstanding and faithful man who becomes decimated by illness, loss and financial ruin. Having lost his land, his family and his health, Job ends up sitting on an ash heap, scraping his itchy sores with a piece of broken pottery. In the midst of his suffering, different friends come to him and speculate about what he must have done wrong to get into this mess and what he needs to do to get back to prosperity. Job refuses to listen to them. He knows that it is God who is in charge – and he patiently waits for God to deliver him. But when the suffering just goes on and on and on, even faithful Job reaches his limit. He finally cries out to God, “What gives? This is just not fair! When are you going to do the right thing, God? What have I ever done to deserve this?” God answers back, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Who is the one who made the earth, the sky, the heavens, the universe? Are you forgetting who’s in charge?”
Like it or not, although we like to think of ourselves as powerful, when push comes to shove, it is God who holds all the cards. And life is not always smooth sailing. All it takes is one terrible storm at sea to remind you of how small and powerless you really are. What storms have you weathered in your life? How have you made sense of the fact that bad things do happen to good people? Have you ever felt forsaken by God, as Job did? Have you, like Job, also had the experience of being delivered from your distress?
-thoughts on Job 38:4 -“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”