On this Independence Day, as ideas about liberty and justice for all echo in the atmosphere, we read this continuing conversation between God and Job about whether or not God is truly just.
Job’s own righteousness has been an absolute certainty of his life. Now, after his life has fallen apart despite his upright living, his trust in God is uncertain. God debunks Job’s idea that a divine concern for justice should result in vigorously removing all injustice, issuing Job a challenge: if Job were in God’s position, could he do better? Because Job is adamant that retribution should fall upon the wicked person, how would Job operate the cosmos to ensure that the righteous evade suffering?
The book of Job makes no attempt to explain God, but it does provide us with plenty of examples of the way humankind misunderstands God, the world, and suffering. Job’s story gives us opportunities to ponder our existence, our relationships with other people and with creation, and what we expect from our relationship with God.
All of us are works in progress. The relationships that matter most in our lives deserve all that we have to offer. When we love, we don’t hold back what is on our hearts. We share our concerns, our ideas, our deepest questions, and our honest struggles. We care enough about our relationships to not be apathetic or dismissive about them. This is why we take a deep breath and speak up. This is why we learn to listen. God engages Job in conversation and his life will change. May we love enough to engage with God and find ourselves changed as well.
Because you love, what brave conversations do you need to have?
Holy God, help us talk to you about everything. Teach us to bring you our pain, our problems, and our love. Guide us with the grace and strength that only you can provide. Amen.