Job. Not one of the most encouraging books in the Bible. In fact, at times, it’s just plain ole depressing. But now, this book found in the Old Testament is one of my absolute favorites. Not because of its relate-able suffering, but because of the sovereignty of God revealed within its pages.
My sweet family is finally coming out of one of the hardest seasons of our lives and I can say that Job and I had a lot in common through it all. Although we did not suffer in the exact same ways, the pain, confusion, frustration and desperation we felt mirrored each other almost perfectly. For the first time in my life I felt abandoned by God. Hopeless.
In two years time, I left a job I loved, lost my beloved grandparents, had surgery, had a physical condition that was bizarre and took several doctors and months to diagnose, fell into a deep depression and suffered with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks that left me completely at the mercy of my family and friends. Just like Job, I found myself asking God “Where are you?!” Begging Him to heal me, give me peace and change my circumstances. I felt abandoned by the One who I thought I could always count on.
I wish I could say He gave me some great miraculous encounter that changed everything in an instant, but that’s not my story. He didn’t do what I wanted Him to do. He didn’t heal like I wanted Him to heal. He didn’t provide like I wanted Him to provide. He did not relieve my symptoms like I wanted Him to relieve them. He didn’t even speak to me the way I was used to hearing His voice. I was ready to throw in the towel, quit Him and this whole Christian thing for good. However, even in this difficult adversity I learned a lesson that will not soon be forgotten about the goodness of God.
Back to my friend Job. The only thing that brought any semblance of peace was remembering what little control I had over my circumstances. I know not being in control actually has the opposite effect on most people, but for me, this truth brought peace. Peace because of the words in Job 38-41. (Click the link for the complete text.) In this passage I was reminded of the power of God. His sovereignty. That no matter what I was going through, the one who laid the Earth’s foundation is the one who DOES have control. The one who tells the lightening where to strike, who set the stars in the sky and calls them each by name (Psalm 147:4). In reading this I was blown away by the power of God, the sheer weight of His glory and strength. The creator of the universe and all within it, is in control. He hasn’t left me, or abandoned me. Just because that’s the way I felt, didn’t mean it was the truth. In fact, He used that passage in Job to speak to me in a new way. I think Job and I got the same message. We didn’t understand the things that we were going through, or the reasons for it all, but God did…and does. And not only does He understand, He’s also patient and compassionate.
My husband and I have never been closer and I have never been more sure of my family’s love for me. In all of the junk that we experienced, we’ve come out stronger, closer to each other and closer to God. Life has seasons. Some good, some great, some bad, and some miserable. That’s part of being in this world. But one thing I know now for sure is that God is sovereign, never forgets and never leaves us alone. God doesn’t work on our time table, or do the things we think are the most important, but He’s still good.
I’m thankful that this season is finally coming to a close, but I’m even more thankful for my new revelation of God. If you are going through a rough season, please be comforted by the fact that you control nothing, but He controls everything. May you have peace knowing that He hears you, sees you and isn’t through with you or your circumstances yet. Remember this, the One who told the sun to split the night open is the same One who hears your cries, and know how many hairs are on your head.
This song brought me so much comfort. I hope you’ll take time to listen and maybe be comforted too. Where Were You? by Ghost Ship