Discover more from Faith Seeking Understanding
When Reasons Are Not Enough
Reflecting on Trinity Sunday: Three Days after Sunday (Year A)
Psalter: Psalm 29
Old Testament: Job 39:26—40:5
Gospel: John 14:25-26
Holy, holy, holy God, in calling forth creation from the void, revealing yourself in human flesh, and pouring forth your wisdom to guide us, you manifest your concern for your whole universe. You invite us, as your people, to gather the world's needs into our hearts and bring them before you.
Holy, holy, holy God, fill us with strength and courage, with discernment and compassion, that we may be your instruments of justice and love in this world, that it may be on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
The Lord said to Job:
“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!”
Then Job answered the Lord:
“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer—
twice, but I will say no more” (Job 40:1-5).
Somethings are left to mystery. That is the final response Job offers to God after God’s questioning of Job in the midst of his suffering.
‘See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but will proceed no further.’
God has gifted the human mind with the ability to understand deep and profound things. Quantum physicists are unlocking the mysteries of the small universe, the tiny world that cannot be seen, but we know is there. The James Webb Space Telescope is opening up mysteries of the vast universe that can only be seen through the power of magnification. The small universe and the large universe are still filled with much mystery. Neurobiologists seek to understand the mysteries of the brain. Modern medicine has unlocked cures that could not have been imagined just a century ago. And, yet with so much that we have learned, the more we learn, the more we realize how little we know.
We human beings long to know, but there are things for which there are no satisfying answers. The problem of suffering seems to have no answer. We can give intellectual answers about the freedom of humanity, about the randomness of chance events, but in the final analysis there is much that remains a mystery. In the midst of his terrible suffering, Job has come to understand this. Job does not blame God for his suffering, but neither does he blame himself, and rightly so. He realizes that he is mortal and there are some things that are just beyond explanation in this life. It is difficult for human beings to accept that some things in this life have no good answers. It is not wrong to seek for an answer, but the answer often eludes us.
Perhaps that is why we should go back to the beginning of the book when Job’s, three friends see his suffering from afar and sit beside him for seven days, saying not a word because his suffering is so great. At the end of the day, the best answer we can give in the midst of suffering is not to be found in words, but in our very presence.
In the midst of human suffering, reasons are not always sufficient to understand, but silence and just being present is enough.
PRAYER: God, whose fingers sculpt sun and moon and curl the baby's ear; Spirit, brooding over chaos before the naming of day; Savior, sending us to earth's ends with water and words: startle us with the grace, love, and communion of your unity in diversity, that we may live to the praise of your majestic name. Amen.
Follow me on Instagram here.