As I mentioned before, I was finishing up my old bible reading plan at the end of last year. During December, I read through the last book in the "wisdom" part of the plan, the book of Job. It seemed to be perfectly timed for me. I was grieving several losses of 2012 and still wearily contemplating purpose- my own purpose, the purpose of the losses, the purpose of God's plan for me, for everyone, for existence. Existential thinking very quickly bumps up against the overwhelmingly large question of why the world and humans were created. And in the book of Job, we see that progression of thinking written out.
I love how human Job is. He is all over the place, shamelessly displaying all five stages of grief and then some. He starts with 'why did this happen?' and spirals into 'why does anything happen,' 'is there any order or accounting for my righteous choices or does nothing matter?' and 'why are we all here? Why does God bother with us?' It's easy to find something to identify with in his existential rambling because he basically goes through the entire grief and angst process during the course of the book.
It was comforting to read about Job going through this angsty search for answers because I think it is included in the bible as an important example of exactly that; that in your walk with God, you probably will have a time (or times) of angsty searching for answers. Circumstances won't make sense, and to add to it, you may wonder- or others may wonder for you- if you've done something wrong that led to these tragedies and your confusion. But it's actually a natural season, and temporary. God is working with you the whole time, and all will *eventually* make sense to you. God may even answer you with hyperbolic sarcasm that might just have a hint of loving humor in it.
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this. Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years! (Job 38:18, 21 NIV)
Job is probably one of the earliest writings of the bible- possibly predated only by parts of Genesis. It's as though God was prefacing all of His work, starting from before Abraham, by saying to His people 'Listen, this is going to be a crazy ride, and it will be confusing to you sometimes. But that's ok.'