When misfortune hits, we tend to doubt. “God has left me,” we think. “He isn’t there; He isn’t real.”
When life for Job followed an upward trajectory, God felt real, present, and close. Then, when one-by-one, he lost a succession of possessions, employees, and loved ones, his mood changed. Not at first, to be sure. To his wife, he still maintained his trust in God and his perspective on God’s ultimate control. But by the time he assimilated all those body blows, he despaired of God. In his chapter 23 speech, Job uses a very powerful image to convey his frustration.
“Would I knew how to reach Him, How to get to His dwelling-place, ” Job says. “But if I go East–He is not there; West–I still do not see Him; North–since He is concealed, I do not behold Him; South–He is hidden and I cannot see Him.”
A key to finding hope through misfortune, as Job shows throughout, is total honesty. Everywhere Job turns, he says, God is absent. There are times we also feel bereft not only of possessions and loved-ones, but also of Him. If you face such a distressing time right now, why not let him know your frustration, how much you miss Him?