Even if we believe strongly in Him, when we experience severe loss, one of our first responses is to blame God. Sometimes, like Job, our closeness with God gives us that right; we feel secure enough in our relationship.
Job’s story describes how the most successful man of his time loses almost everything of importance. Innocent of wrongdoing, he petitions God to admit he suffers wrongly. He hopes God will respond to his plea of innocence. As he makes that plea, however, he reveals some less than admirable qualities about himself before disaster.
“I decided their course and presided over them; I lived like a king among his troops,” he says in chapter 29. The implications stagger us: not just a king among his people, Job exerted near total control over others. He gave orders–others obeyed. Job’s success elevated his sense of self-importance.
“But now those younger than me deride me,” he continues in chapter 30. “[Men] whose fathers I would have disdained to put among my sheep dogs.” Job chafes from the ridicule of younger people, offspring of those he looked down on. Among Job’s many admirable qualities, therefore (see chapter 31), he also exhibits a smug sense of superiority.
Like Job, after we’ve lost, we may want God (or life) to vindicate our innocent suffering; we may hope in our past, our goodness, our previous power, our Self. What would it take to put our hope in God instead?