I originally wrote this as a comment on an excellent, honest and challenging post called “Fight Like A Man, You Dirty Dog!” by Les Ferguson, Jr. at his blog. But I thought about it a little more and wanted to share it here, too. Les closes his post by asking these questions:
“What do you do when it feels like you have given God everything and there is no divine protection in it?
“If the Creator of the Universe doesn’t fight fair, what recourse do we have?
“I get that we live in a broken world and bad things happen to good people. I get it. I hate it. And I certainly don’t understand it.
“But what do you do when it feels like the dirty dog is God?”
So I answered:
I have struggled with this long before my current challenges began.
I continue to believe that God is good. I’ve concluded from the book of Job that evil, pain and suffering are from the accuser, not from God. I don’t understand why God permits it. Job doesn’t get a reason. God never tells Job about His wager with the accuser, or the fact that (incredibly) the Creator of all things believes in Job just as much as Job believes in Him.
That’s what astounds me. God’s answer, in essence, isn’t an answer to Job’s questions at all, but the implied reassurance that God is God, and He can be trusted.
There’s never a moment in the book of Job that I can recall where the existence of God is in question. His nature and character (along with Job’s) are debated on and on. But no one ever says, “With all these terrible things happening, there just can’t be a God.”
The whole work is a work about faith. It may be called integrity, but ultimately what Job (and his friends) must learn is that his trust can’t be in himself or others or stuff – but in God.
So I can only hope to navigate this present hell in my life by faith – and trust that His inscrutable purpose in letting Satan tear at my family is because – somehow – He believes in us.
Which is not as much help as I would like it to be when I want to grab the one responsible for the suffering and evil and pain in the lives of my family and yours and so many others … and beat him to a bloody dying pulp.
I can’t do that.
The victory is already God’s through Christ.
I have to trust in that.
It’s all I’ve got.