Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Job was having trouble finding God in the midst of his great struggle. So he turns back to what he does know. Though Job cannot see God, he knows that God sees him. He knows that God has a purpose for struggle, that refining process that removes rough edges and impurities. Despite what his friends may think, Job knows he has a good relationship with God. He has sought God, desired to follow His ways, obeyed His commandments, valued His Word.
But lastly Job knows this great truth—that God is sovereign and does as He will. He doesn’t need our guidance, our permission, or our approval of what He does. He has a plan for us, a purpose for the things that happen to us, and we don’t always get to know all the details of that. We don’t always know what He is doing or why. And honestly, that’s okay. We don’t have to know or understand everything that God does. We really can’t anyway. But sometimes that’s hard to accept and hard to face when God seems distant or our problems are overwhelming.
Maybe what Job wanted to say to God was, “Why are You doing this to me? Why is this happening to me?” Maybe those are questions you’ve wanted to ask before. Maybe they’re questions on your lips this very moment. But even when it’s hardest to do so, that’s when we have to trust God and what we know about Him. He is near. He is good. He is faithful. He does love. He is merciful. He is at work. He sees. He knows. He can help. The confounding things of life can drive us to our knees in desperation, but even if we feel like we can’t find God anywhere, we can trust that He is there, working out His will in His way.