“I can’t stand my life—I hate it! I’m putting it all out on the table—all the bitterness of my life—I’m holding back nothing.”
“Here’s what I want to say:
God, don’t’ pronounce me guilty without letting me know the charges you’re bringing against me.
How does this fit into what you once called ‘good?” You are giving me a hard time, spurning me—a life you shaped by your very own hands—and then you bless the plots of the wicked.”
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I don’t think I was ever promised a fair life, but I expect it all the same. I don’t remember a being told that “if you follow God’s will you will always be blessed” in fact, I think I learned very early that to follow God would mean persecution and pain oftentimes. But still, the question can’t be avoided, why would God let bad things happen to his good people? Why does the wicked one prosper, and the fair one anguish under toil and strife?
Just like Job, millions today are searching for answers to make sense of the suffering in the world and their own experience. I don’t know the answers, and I don’t think I’ll ever hear an answer that truly satisfies that pain in my heart. That will come later when I stand in God’s pure glory. But for now, I try not to think about the problem of pain, and that’s the honest truth.
This I do know. We will suffer in this life. We will encounter pain and trials, and often it will feel like more than we can carry. Sometimes it will be more than we can bear. But just because we suffer doesn’t mean we can’t have peace. I think that’s one gift from God that we don’t take hold of quite enough, the peace that passes understanding. That kind of peace isn’t just relaxation, and it isn’t mere stillness, because those things can be understood. Peace that passes understanding is like a calm in the eye of the storm.
There are many aspects of the good news; among them life, love, joy, wisdom, and relationship with God. But not least among these is peace. It’s this kind of peace that lets us sing that it is well with my soul. It’s this kind of peace that shines on our faces in times of trouble. It’s this kind of peace that sits with us in our sadness, in our mourning. Could it be that God’s peace is one way that those who mourn are blessed?
I’m not suggesting you sugarcoat suffering or hide from Job’s question. But I want to offer when suffering defies explanation, we can experience the peace that surpasses understanding and weather the storm sitting on our solid rock, with our savior beside us.