Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Darkness of the Unknown

Job was not a patient man. He endured but not without complaint. What we have recorded of his story—the trials placed upon him, his unsupportive wife, his unsympathetic friends, his misery and his lack of understanding as to what was going on and why—left him in darkness for an extended period of time. The darkness of the unknown.

We’ve all been there, are there, or will be there. It is a necessary detour on the road of life. During the darkness of the unknown we fight battles for which we seem unprepared. Our struggles are met with silence or, worse, inappropriate suggestions or distorted insight. We want to know what’s going on, why it’s going on and how much longer it will go on. Questions which usually go unanswered.

Job felt his suffering unjust. His friends blamed him. Obviously there was no consensus, only words expressing and defending each opinion. It felt to him as though God was wounding him without cause, without reason. It seemed as though God had indiscriminately selected him for misery. He felt more abandoned than accompanied.

Then, when all human explanations had run their course, and the vitreous complaints of less than virtuous men were expressed, God spoke. God proved to be the patient one. For Him who dwells in complete understanding, perfect perspective, unceasing light, having to endure the faithlessness of those who claim to trust Him, waiting for the moment to turn the darkness of the unknown into the light of wisdom, He demonstrated amazing self-control.

Only God knows what’s really going on in the darkness. And just as clearly He knows what’s waiting in the light. On the other side of the darkness of the unknown is the brilliance of God’s plan, the goodness of His intentions, the completion of His purposes.

Regardless of how long it takes, we have to trust that the dawn is coming. Believing that everything we face, in one way or another, is temporary. Whether it lasts a day or a lifetime it’s still temporary and in the meantime God’s grace is sufficient.

It was not until God spoke that Job discovered the grace that had been there all along. Hearing God’s voice brought the perspective no amount of human insight and complaining could find. It will be the same for us. But to our advantage, we have His voice recorded on the pages of the Bible and have His Spirit resident within us to point out what we need to hear. Even in the silence God is speaking.

So, to get through the darkness of the unknown, follow the voice of the One who loves you most and is actually working all of this toward your ultimate good.

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