â€œHe has blocked my way so I cannot pass; He has shrouded my paths in darknessâ€
Mart De Haan, in Our Daily Bread devotional (9-16-10) wrote:
Growing up around the woods and waters of Midwest America, I’ve been fascinated with natural wildlife native to our region. But on a recent trip to the California coast, I found myself staring in breathtaking wonder at snorting elephant seals, barking sea lions, and a forest of silent redwoods. I watched pelicans soar in formation, and I saw migrating whales spouting in the distance. Together they are just a sampling of the millions of species that make up the intricate and delicate balance of nature.
According to the Bible, the variety of the natural world is designed to do far more than inspire childlike wonder. The mysteries of nature can help us come to terms with a God who allows inexpressible, unexplainable pain and suffering.
We see this in the epic story of Job. While he was suffering, Job didn’t know that God had such a high regard for him that he allowed Satan to test his faith with a series of losses.
What emerges is this eventual, unavoidable conclusion: A Creator who has the wisdom and power to design the wonders of nature is great enough to be trusted with pain and suffering that are beyond our ability to understand.
Job, having lost everything, troubled and bewildered, lamented, â€œHe has blocked my way so I cannot pass; He has shrouded my paths in darknessâ€ (Job 19:8).
When we feel we are beyond our depth of understanding, and we cannot find the reason, we can always trust the relationship. Although Job had many unanswered questions, he began to understand the relationship. He told God, “I know that You can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted . . . My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:2, 5). We can trust God no-matter-what. He will never fail us.
It is easy to praise God when we are in good health, enjoying life, the love of family and friends, and our bills are paid. It is when light suddenly turns to darkness that we begin to see where or in whom our faith lies; during these times we develop night vision. We learn to rest on His matchless, unchanging grace.
God gives us some of our best insights in our worst, most difficult moments.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock I standâ€”
All other ground is sinking sand. â€“Edward Mote