Get Real with God Blog
Finding a modern-day Job… The task is a lot easier than we think as this world, living under a cloud of corruption, abounds with examples of tragic events and lives that no longer want to be. Never mind for now where we get the notion that life OUGHT to be fair. That discussion will have to wait.

Now we must listen to one such story of a man by the name of Douglas. You can find a more detailed account of this man’s life in Philip Yancey’s book Disappointment with God.  First, Douglas’ wife discovers a lump in her breast. The breast had to be removed. Then, the cancer spread to her lungs. One day, in the midst of the crisis, Douglas was driving his wife and twelve year old daughter when a drunk driver crossed the median and hit their car in a head-on collision. Douglas was severely hit on his head and sustained injuries that caused not only constant headaches but also the loss of vision in one eye. His life would never be the same again.

When Philip Yancey, the author, had a chance to meet with Douglas over breakfast, a surprising thing happened. He asked him, “Could you tell me about your own disappointment with God?” After some silent, came what a call a moment of brilliance, “To tell you the truth, Philip.” Douglas said, “I didn’t feel any disappointment with God.” Philip couldn’t believe what he had just heard. Was this another “Turn your scar into stars!” television moment? He wanted to know more.

Douglas explained: “The reason is this. I learned, first through my wife’s illness and then especially through the accident, not to confuse God with life. I’m no stoic. I am as upset about what happened to me as anyone could be. I feel free to curse the unfairness of life and to vent all my grief and anger. But I believe God feels the same way about that accident – grieved and angry. I don’t blame him for what happened.”

I believe that this story reminds us that those who have suffered the most have the most to tell us about suffering. As we look at the closing part of Habakkuk’s declaration of trust in God through turmoil, we will that this caution of separating God from the events surrounding us will be huge in helping us move past the pain and into the rejoicing that Habakkuk, James, Paul, Peter, and Jesus Himself talked about.

And the way we will find peace in the midst of our agonies is by learning to trust the character of God – that He is good and just and will intervene in His time. The pattern of the three days of Easter week – tragedy, darkness and triumph – representing Jesus’ death, the time He was “hidden” in the tomb, and His ultimate resurrection from the dead. This pattern will one day be enacted in a cosmic scale when God will bring His justice to prevail upon the whole universe.

Until then, we toil and suffer, just like the rest, and if we are blessed, we learn to rejoice, like Habakkuk did at the end of his book:

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).”

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade