In the biblical story of Job, we find a difficult narrative that hits at the very heart of human dilemmas: trusting that which we do not understand and seems unfair.
Job was a righteous man, yet bad things happened to him. These were not merely inconvenciences, but major disasters involving our worst nightmares. Job questioned, demanded, and begged God to come and tell him what he had done wrong so he could admit it. Yet, for a long while, no answer.
Friends tried to explain it: Job had sinned terribly, thus God was punishing him. This didn’t make sense to Job, especially since he was unaware of his violation.
Finally, God answered Job with a series of questions, which neither Job nor we could answer. My version of what God was teaching Job was, “I am God and you are not.” My blunt version is, “Shut up and trust me.”
The very things we do not like are caught up in this story, that of not being in control, and not knowing why we are not in control. This is God’s business, though we want it to to be ours. One more thing that tops off all the unfair things we learn from this story is that Job likely could not have handled the background of the whole episode. As far as we know, God never told Job why the bad things happened. An agreement between Satan and God allowed Satan to ransack Job’s life and possessions, so God could continue to show that Job was faithful.
Does God still do this today? I do not know, but if he did, he would tell me the same thing, shut up and trust him. I’m working on it.