One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
Life’s not fair, really. Or at least it seems that way a lot of times. The experiences of human life are as varied as there are humans. Some wicked people live good and trouble-free lives, while some who know and love God experience great tragedy. Some believers live blessed lives and sail right into eternity with God, while some evil people live the most miserable life imaginable. And sometimes we don’t understand how or why things happen as they do. Job certainly couldn’t figure it out.
Here was a righteous man facing an extreme of suffering we wouldn’t wish on anyone, and it didn’t make any sense. But God knows us, and He knows us all individually and intimately, and He deals with each of us individually. He doesn’t work in our life according to someone else’s needs. We are all different, and so our experiences are different. There are billions of people, and God ministers separately to each one. He causes and allows different circumstances for each one. He is working in ways we can’t always know or understand.
So we can’t compare ourselves to each other. God can do as He will in each life, and we don’t get a say. He knows best, and He has His reasons, and sometimes we just have to accept them. This life on Earth is just a small part of our lives, because we will live eternally—with God or apart from Him. What we have here is not the be-all, end-all. So let’s not get too caught up in what does or doesn’t happen here, but trust the God who is in control, the God writing each of our stories.
That’s easier said than done in a lot of cases, especially when, like Job, we’re right in the middle of something devastating or confusing or overwhelming. From an eternal perspective it might seem small and just and good somehow, but at the time, it seems big and unfair and very, very bad. So what do we do, then? What Job did. He worshipped through his pain. He was honest with God. He asked questions. He sought God and he was responsive to Him when He spoke. And because of that, though it wasn’t easy and he didn’t understand and it hurt so much, he endured and came out the other side better for having gone through it all.