PASTOR'S PEN: What is it?
The other day I was out fishing. I had my crawler on the hook and the bobber on the line. I was fully expecting to catch blue gill and or perhaps a little bass. What I didn’t expect was for my pole to bend over as something grasped the hook and ran off. I started to reel and saw a long shape that I assumed from a quick glance to be a pike. I yelled over to my fishing partner to grab the net. Determined to stay in the water, the lengthy creature saw the net and jetted away in the opposite direction. I reeled him in a bit more and my friend scooped him up in the net! The pike … wait … that’s not a pike!? That’s the weirdest looking thing I’ve ever seen. After untangling him from the net and working the hook out from between his miniscule teeth I snapped a quick shot of the 2-foot-long creature with my phone and sent it off to someone I was certain could identify this strange site. He soon replied to my “What is it?” text with this statement: “Looks like a dogfish, which should have a long dorsal fin extend almost to tail." We looked again and so it did. We had caught one of the two dogfish we would capture that night.
There are many times in life we have questions, “Why is this happening?," “Why am I here?”, “What did I do to deserve this?," “How can I regain my joy?”, etc. Life is full of difficult circumstances and hard questions and it would be great to just text God, “What’s going on?” and have Him reply back, but life doesn’t work that way. Many times when we of hear of someone else’s circumstance we throw out a quick verse in a vain attempt to squelch all questions and doubt, but we normally end up causing disdain toward ourselves and God for pat answers that do not satisfy. So what is the answer?
I think we need to look to God. We can’t text Him, but we can find some of His answers in His Word. For example, Job struggled with answers to his dilemma. He had no idea why he was going through his difficult circumstances – losing all his children, his home, his wealth and even his health. And, frankly, after reading Job, I don’t fully understand why God allowed it either. But Job gives some insight. It isn’t about answering all of our questions to our own satisfaction, but revealing a God that is so much greater than ourselves that we simply must trust Him.
After his questioning and doubt and hearing from God, Job says this, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:3
Job thought he knew what God should have done, but he didn’t really have all the information nor all the answers. Even as he made that statement he didn’t know any more about why he suffered than he did at the beginning of the book. All he knew was the same thing Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 10:6-7, “No one is like you, O LORD; You are great, and Your name is mighty in power. Who should not revere You, O King of the nations? This is your due.”
I don’t have all the answers to your questions nor mine. I can only bring you and myself before a God so great and so powerful and also so merciful that, even when we have no idea why life is collapsing, you and I can place our complete trust in Him.