The biblical account of the devastating turn of events in Job’s life and his subsequent restoration is a reminder to us of just how little we actually know about the various happenings that take place in our lives. We are ignorant of many of the spiritual battles and divine purposes which affect the circumstances of our lives. We are often like Job and his friends who, without any possible way of knowing the actual realities, rush to make sense of the good or the bad things that happen to us.
As Proverbs reminds us, “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can a man understand his way?” (20:24) We must never forget that the all-wise God is at work in every corner of the universe and his transcendent plans always supersede our plans and usually our understanding. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Pr.16:9) and “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Pr.19:21).
These realizations may make us feel much smaller than our human inclinations prefer, but they will certainly spare us the frustration and embarrassment of jumping to wildly inaccurate conclusions about the occurrences in our lives. We are also able to gain that unrivaled peace which comes from knowing that as his child “God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil.2:13).