by Col Larry Simpson, USAF (Ret.)
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.'” (Job 38:1-3).
From my experience, most leaders don’t care to have their decisions challenged. This is particularly true, I believe, when the pace is fast and compliance must be immediate. In our leaders’ devotion this morning, someone commented, “There are some things you are not supposed to understand.” This was certainly the case with Job.
For all of Job’s righteousness, one might question whether Job deserved to suffer and, if he did, should he at least have been given insight as to why. As we strive to live out our faith in our profession, the study of Job prompts a few thoughts to consider: Can we trust God emotionally when our circumstances demand justice? In my lack of discernment of how God is working, can I question the fairness of what He allows? What should my response be to trials I do not understand?
Job’s response was to question God. One might conclude that Job got wrapped up in matters too great for him. As leaders, we often consider the big picture, the larger plan. Oftentimes, the big picture does not get translated down through the working level.
In a similar way, a far greater reality than our own exists in the heavenly economy. As God grilled Job (read Job chapters 38-41), revealing Job’s lack of knowledge of His creation and of His divine power, Job’s only response was: “I am unworthy-how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4). Job finally got it.
In the workplace we are not always privy to the larger plan. We may be in the dark, not knowing how or whether we have a role to play. It can also be that way in God’s greater scheme. What we do know is that God is LORD and ruler over all. His ways are unsearchable; they defy humanity’s thoughts and wisdom.
So should we question God’s authority? Regardless of how righteous the question might seem, of how strongly I might feel about an injustice, or of how merciful I think God should be, I would be wise to consider the Holy Scriptures and to pattern my questions and concerns after Jesus’ response while here on earth:
- Pray. When Jesus was anxious, He prayed. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34).
- Desire God’s will. “Abba! Father! Everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
- Rest confidently in Him. “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me” (John 11:41-42).
I had a friend who, in response to matters he did not understand or was reluctant to accept, would say: “I am content to leave this in the hands of a sovereign God.” What a great response! As we walk and lead by faith, fulfilling God’s mission, may we entrust our ways and life’s circumstances to Him.
Copyrighted by Officers’ Christian Fellowship and Larry Simpson. For personal reflection and growth. Not for distribution.
This article originally appeared in COMMAND magazine, or an OCF Ministry Report.