This week’s blog is an excerpt from How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them , By author Dale Kreienkamp.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? That’s something I’m sure you’d like to know. You may have been given a reason, but that doesn’t necessarily answer the question deep-down inside of you. Most of us want to know what we did to lose our job or what we could have done differently to keep it. I certainly did.

Something I’m guilty of—and maybe you are too—is thinking that we control more in life than we really do. When things don’t go as planned, we often believe there was something we should have done to prevent it. We have trouble accepting that some of what happens to us is just part of living in a sinful world. It’s not that I want you to push those thoughts away; I believe they are natural. You’ll need time to work through them; but don’t let them consume you. Accept that wondering “why” is normal but in the end, you’ll need to come to peace with the fact that even if you discover why, it won’t change your circumstances. You’ll still be looking for a new job.

Know that you aren’t alone. Job and his friends asked plenty of “why” questions throughout most of the book of Job. Finally, God spoke and when he did, he let Job have it. There’s a lesson in this for us:

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:1-7).

Ouch, that’s harsh, and it was only the first of God’s responses.

In the end, Job admitted that he was wrong:

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:1-3).

I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve done it myself, asking “why” too many times and deserving to hear what Job heard from God. When that happens, I try looking at things from a different perspective; I imagine my children questioning my decisions. As a father, I see the bigger picture and know what’s best for them.

The same is true for us. God our Father knows what’s best. He has amazing plans in store that he’s waiting to reveal, according to his timing, not ours. So let go of “why.” Trust God and focus on “what’s next”!

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