The book of Job has always been a favorite of mine. Mainly because it gives me permission to allow God to be God, to be content with ambiguity. I am reminded in reading Job there is so much I cannot know about God and how he works. The intricacies of creation are beyond me; the realm of the supernatural is an enigma. I don’t know why some suffer and others prosper. I don’t know why children get cancer, fires destroy homes or viruses jump from animals to humans.
There are many aspects of God he allows us to know. He showed us his incredible love by sending Jesus. He allows us to know that one day he will come again and take us to a heaven. He gave the Holy Spirit to guide us. We know there are forces of evil that oppose us, but that those forces cannot stand against or destroy his people.
While there are many things I can know, there are many things I cannot know. When Daniel prayed, the angel was detained for three weeks fighting a battle in the heavenlies. (Daniel 10:12-13) Daniel didn’t know why his prayer was not answered, but he continued to pray until it was.
Job didn’t know why his family and possessions were taken from him (Job 1-2). He remained faithful even though his life was falling apart. Joseph was sold into slavery, and yet years later he told the ones who sold him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” (Genesis 50)
We can be certain of God’s love even when life seems to be falling apart. Perhaps it might be a good idea to remind ourselves that He is God, we are not; he is judge, we are not; he is omniscient, we are not; he is sovereign, we are not. It might even be helpful to read Job 38-41 to be reminded of all the ways we are not God. Perhaps our conclusion will be like Job’s:
I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.Job 42:5-6
I have not been called to judge good and evil, even to know it at all. And so I must be comfortable with ambiguity. I must learn to embrace not knowing and allow God to be God.
How about you? Is ambiguity your friend? Are you comfortable with not knowing and allowing God to set boundaries, to be mysterious?