God has a way of weaving together the threads of our lives, weaving intricate patterns, indiscernible as we look up close at the section we can see; the present moment.
I, like Job, am continually asking "Why?" about everything. I desire to see the pattern, to understand how the details of my life, the suffering of others, and the evil in this world are being redeemed, washed clean to make an unstained tapestry. My restless heart chants "Why, why, why?" in rhythm to it's beating, but I am left with the old, old answer. Older then the books of the Old Covenant which record the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, older then the Exodus into the Promised Land, older then all the Law and the Prophets. It is God's first recorded answer to a human question.
Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, and although they record the earliest human history, they are not the first to be written.
Job is the oldest book of the Bible, recording the oldest human question "Why?"
All Jobs questions add up to this: "I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me."
God responds with questions himself, but they all add up to this "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding...Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it."
When I question God with the "Why?" of ages past, the "Why?” of my own aching heart, am I actually pointing my finger in accusation? I wouldn't do it this way. I wouldn't let people choose evil. I would keep the innocent free from hunger and oppression, safe from famine and torture. I would stop the evil of the world. I would not let things go on like this.
I suppose I am saying that I know better when I entertain theses thoughts. I am questioning God's judgment. Just like my daughters question mine. But my questioning is far more pathetic. My daughters believe they know what is best for them: unsupervised unlimited access to anything they want; TV, video games, movies, candy, junk food, ice cream, the whipped cream in a can. Denying them anything they perceive as good brings forth the question "Why?"
What is my response? I am the mother and it is my job to decide what is best for them and how much is too much and when unpleasant discipline is required. When they question, they are just questioning me, another mortal. I question the infinite omniscient One with the same audacity of a ten-year-old complaining to her mom.
"Why not unlimited ice pops all day long?"
"Why not an endless string of happy days full of one pleasure following the other?"
Are either of us really asking "Why?" or just complaining?
I want this world to be perfect. I want to never grow old. I want my children to live in peace and harmony with no pain, no suffering, no death. I never want to feel the undying ache of loosing my husband, watching a loved one waste away from cancer, or experience the body breaking torture of persecution. I don't want anyone to suffer. Yet that is the state of the world. Do I really think I know better then God how this world should be?
The ache in my chest that never really goes away, the one that gnaws at me and tells me that something is wrong says, something is always wrong: time is passing and the specter of death hangs over every one of us like Damocles’ sword, waiting to cut us asunder from life, that ache says "Yes, this is all wrong. We were never meant for this. We were created in the image of God, perfect. How could He let this happen? Why?"
I am just like my ten-year-old daughter. I am always asking why and never satisfied with the answer no matter how true, because I want my own way. I want the easy way, the path without pain.