Monday, March 18, 2013

born to trouble

For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
Job 5:6-7

To a degree, Eliphaz is right to make this observation. When difficulties, trials, afflictions, and pains arise, they are not random matters. They are inevitably part of human life in a fallen and cursed system. There is an ancient observation here that is still part of all human experience. Trouble is always a part of living in this world. It cannot be avoided.

God will not let us waste our pains. He wants us to learn from them and to trust His sovereign hand. In that sense Eliphaz is right in counseling his friend Job. It is just his insistence that Job admit that God was judging sin in him that twisted this advice too far. Job was not being reprimanded by hardship. He was getting a chance to continue in his faithfulness. And that is the perspective that God and Job knew. None of Job's friends could fathom it. They were too rigid in their view of pain and suffering.

God has purpose in our pain. And all of us will without fail find times of suffering. It is up to us to let that purpose drive us into the deep love of God. We may not immediately know why we suffer. That is not important at all. But we do know God is always good even as we navigate through a life that is "born to trouble".

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