This verse from Job caught my eye months ago, and was included in some of the cards we received:
God may kill me, but still I will trust him and offer my defense. Job 13:15 CEV
I really love Job and his determination. I was thinking about him when I was reading a different story, this one from the New Testament, about the Canaanite woman who asks Jesus to heal her daughter (Matthew 15: 21-28). [Jews looked down on Canaanites in that time…they were not considered God’s chosen people.]
Jesus then left that part of the country and walked…to Tyre and Sidon. A woman from Canaan who was living there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, King David’s Son! For my daughter has a demon within her, and it torments her constantly.” But Jesus gave her no reply—not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to get going,” they said, “for she is bothering us with all her begging.”
Then he said to the woman, “I was sent to help the Jews—the lost sheep of Israel—not the Gentiles.”
But she came and worshiped him and pled again, “Sir, help me!”
“It doesn’t seem right to take bread from the children and throw it to the dogs,” he said. [seriously, Jesus? did you really say that?]
“Yes, it is!” she replied, “for even the puppies beneath the table are permitted to eat the crumbs that fall.”
“Woman,” Jesus told her, “your faith is large, and your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed right then.
In the story of Job, God has allowed Satan to kill or take away everything from Job (his whole family, his wealth, his home, his health) — it’s a wager in which Satan is betting that Job, who is considered very righteous and good, will lose his faith and curse God. Job, unaware of the wager, doesn’t understand why all this suffering has been dumped on him…he keeps asking, demanding that God show himself and explain. Job keeps asking even though his friends keep saying Job must have done something wrong, that he deserves what’s happened to him because everyone is a sinner. But God finally does show up in a big way…and says, for the most part “I am God and you are not, and you’re just going to need to trust me.” (And then, in most but not all interpretations, God gives Job a new life – new wife and kids, new wealth…and I’m thinking that actually sounds shallow, like the first wife and kids were so easily replaced?)
There has been a part of me that feels my constant haranguing, my constant pleading with God to SHOW ME that Mark is safe…is actually arrogance. Maybe that’s why God isn’t answering me? I’m trying to tell the God of the Universe what to do! I’m saying the little things and even some big things (like the power of Mark’s memorial service, synergies, the deer in the woods) are fluff, drivel…you can do better than that, God! And I think maybe I should show a little humility; I’m not the best person, I’m not righteous, like how Job is described…maybe I need to learn to be content with what I have been given. Sit down, shut up.
But then I remember Job’s dogged perseverance, and I remember the woman from Canaan, and I think “I’m his MOM. I lost my SON. My heart, my husband’s heart, my daughter’s heart, Mark’s grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends…we are SHATTERED. We are wrecked!”
So I will do no less.
I will keep asking. And even if God shows up and doesn’t answer the question, at least I’ll know He heard me…that we have a relationship still, and not this awful silence.