The Covid-19 pandemic has surfaced many perplexing questions about life and faith. How do we grapple with a loved one contracting the virus or being retrenched because of the crisis? In our anguish, we cry out, “Why, Lord?” or “Lord, I need an answer!” as we try to make sense of the situation.
In matters concerning life and faith, we often have more questions than answers. Job and his friends grappled with similar questions about fairness, justice and the “whys” of life. They became exasperated as each of them tried to answer on God’s behalf. But He remained silent, and there were no satisfactory answers to be found.
However, one of Job’s friends, Zophar, understood God’s nature rightly when he says, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above – what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below – what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea” – Job 11:7-9, NIV.
When God finally speaks (Job 38-41), He interestingly does not address the questions posed by Job and his three friends. Instead, God proceeds to ask Job baffling questions about the mysteries of the universe and creation. The theological anchor of the book of Job is clear: God is sovereign, and God is not accountable to man!
God’s ways are higher than ours and we may not fully comprehend His workings in our lives during our time on earth. Hence, it is not our place to demand answers to life’s perplexing questions. Isaiah writes, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” – Isaiah 55:9, NIV.
Yet we know that God welcomes our honest questions and laments as we cry out to Him. In his misery, Job complained, “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11, NIV) While God may not respond in the way we expect, we are assured that He will answer us according to His great love, goodness, and mercy for us (Psalm 69:13,16).
When we face a crisis, let our response not be, “Lord, I need an answer!” Rather, may the posture of our hearts be, “Lord, help me to trust You – your great love, goodness and mercy – and Your eternal purposes even when I do not have the answers.”
“… afflicted and in pain … I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving” – Psalm 69:29-30, NIV.
Lam Kok Hiang has over 30 years of experience in full-time Christian vocational ministry. He holds a MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has led Cru Singapore as National Team Leader since 2006. An avid runner, Kok Hiang shares a love for books with his wife, Sharon. Together, their desire is to see young leaders rise up in local churches and missions agencies across Asia.
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