Recently I was going through a really tough time where I thought God was ignoring me. I was praying fervently – possibly more than I’ve ever prayed in my life – and getting absolutely no answer from Him. For weeks I prayed and prayed, asking the same questions over and over.
One night, instead of opening my Bible to my regular study passage, I prayed that God would show me the passage that He wanted me to see. I prayed for a long time, making sure that God had time to turn His attention to me instead of all the other problems in the world. I really wanted an answer.
I opened my Bible, sure that I was going to get an uplifting Psalm or a parable about God’s love that would diminish my doubts and give me the encouragement I needed. Let me insert a disclaimer here: Don’t ask for answers from God unless you want HIS answer, not just the answer you thought He would give.
So, I opened up my Bible and for a minute thought God didn’t hear me. I was in Job, Chapter 38. I don’t know how long it has been since you read Job, but in case you haven’t read this particular passage in a while, I’ll give you a summary: For 37 chapters Job and his friends have been questioning God, asking why all of the horrible things Job has suffered are happening to such a righteous man. Finally, in Chapter 38, God answers Job (and me, apparently) by saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Because I’m God.”
In that moment God spoke to my heart. He knows EVERYTHING, literally. Maybe my current suffering is strengthening me for a future struggle. Maybe someone halfway around the world will be saved because of the trials I’m enduring. Or maybe there is some other reason. All I know is my own situation, but God sees everything, the big picture as we like to say.
My life is not about my own happiness or my own comfort; it is about serving Him. From the moment we are saved our lives become about one thing – serving our Heavenly Father. His purpose for us is clear: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:19-20
So, when “bad” things happen to me, or when I think God isn’t listening, there is a purpose, His purpose. He sees everything, knows everything and has His hand in everything. From that perspective, my paltry discomfort must seem awfully petty next to someone whose life or salvation hangs in the balance. He loves me and wants what is best for me, but not at the expense of someone else’s soul. From now on when I question why God does something in my life, I’ll think of Job and remember: because He is God.