I've noticed that we Christians feel that is is disrespectful to God to complain to God about our sufferings. Even though we are angry at God we think it is inappropriate to express this anger. So we repress this anger. And this buried anger may linger in our subconscious for years, polluting our love and trust in God.
But the Book of Job challenges this approach. Look at today's first reading. Job had lost all his wealth and even his children. Finally he lost his health -- his body was covered with boils. Job was angry with God. Job's friends arrive and try to convince Job that he must have sinned and been unfaithful in living the covenant and so God was now punishing him for his sins. This Job vehemently denies and continues to express his frustration with God.
The dialogue between Job and his friends continues, repetitiously, for over thirty chapters. Then something marvelous happens: God interrupts the dialogue and breaks into Job's consciousness, reminding Job that God is the source of creation's wonders and glories: "Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning and shown the dawn its place?"
The voice of the Lord stuns Job into silence and Job now meekly responds to the Lord:
Job had gotten his anger at God "off his chest." And Job is now able to listen to God. Yes, even amid his sufferings Job allows God to touch him. Job experiences a profound presence of God — a presence deeper than any presence he had know before, "I had heard of You by word of mouth but now my eye has seen you."
Amid his sufferings Job experiences God! Job's experience reminds me of Paul's boasting in his weakness so that the power of God could be manifested! And it reminds me of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, in agony and sweating blood, being comforted by an angel!
After I get through complaining to God about my trials, I often need to remind myself that these sufferings can become the very occasion for experiencing God's presence even more profoundly.
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