written by Lindsay, Bible School for the Nations student
Though I hate to admit it, I have always thought that God should be more good than He actually is. This week I realized that He is as good as He could possibly be and that all along He has been more just than I could ever understand.
As I read Job this week I began to see someone (who had been through more than I ever have) remain faithful to God through his personal doubts. I could relate a lot to some of the things Job said. I could especially relate to Chapter 9. Job describes how he feels that God is so big and his mind is so vast that a mortal’s mind could never presume to debate with God or make a case for themselves. Job both admits that God’s idea of justice is higher than his and at the same time, by the tone in which he says it, seems to say, “and because of this, even though God is coldhearted, I have to submit to him.”
There have been times when I have, in my heart, wanted to cry out to God, “WHERE WERE/ARE YOU?!” Although I would never have admitted that, even to peers. I hesitated the few times I said it out loud. But I felt it just the same. I have felt it as I have mourned over things that happened in my own life that never should have.
I have felt it many times while working in the Tenderloin. I have thought it while bandaging an 18 year old girl whose high 27 year old boyfriend had broken a liquor bottle over her face. She just wanted her mom, she sobbed. Her mom had died of cancer when she was ten. I have thought it as I watched the body of a guy my age go into rigor mortis on the sidewalk. He was covered in needle marks. Pain had overcome him, addiction had ruined his life and, ultimately, destroyed it. So much potential just lying in the gutter like a piece of trash.
I’ve also thought it in the Philippines, in a slum where children nap on top of graves and are always hungry. Where there are people who would gladly have their home demolished because, “It is more important to have a church than a home.” But they don’t even have clean water. Let alone money for a church. Reading the book of Job this week I began to feel as if I could really begin to genuinely ask God, “Where are you?” and then actually receive a response that I could understand.
God used a lecture at Bible school to answer me. Through it God showed me that the balance of justice and mercy is a complicated and painful process. It is a process that hurts God even more than it hurts those who are victimized by others. This really made me pause. I had judged God’s actions without taking into account his perspective, purposes or feelings. All along I had felt, like Job, “If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” (Job 9:33-35)
During the teaching(and especially while praying afterwards) Jesus was speaking to my heart and saying, “That mediator, that is me. This is where I have been, and the cross is how I have been there. I’m right here. I’ve been here this whole time.”
This may seem obvious but it was not in my heart. Although I have loved the other parts of the trinity in other ways I have always felt distant from the Father. Although I could explain the Father’s heart to someone intellectually, I had not experienced it on this personal level before. I’m still a little unsure about how to relate to the Father but I know this is something that will grow and heal as the school progresses and beyond that as well.