I was recently asked, “What’s your favorite book of the Bible?” My mind immediately took me to my favorite verse – Romans 8:38-39. But then I realized, Romans probably isn’t my favorite book as a whole. I immediately thought of the book of Job. Before listening to The Bible in a Year Podcast, I wouldn’t have even been able to recall that Job was a book in the Bible. But after hearing Fr. Mike Schmitz explain Job, I’ve never fully forgotten the message it brings – unlike Numbers, Leviticus, and so on. 

Job is suffering. Many things have gone wrong in his life and he’s struggling. He’s been faithful to God, but nonetheless, has had – for lack of a better phrase – a series of unfortunate events happen. His friends come and try to speak reason into why things have gone the way they have for him, almost encouraging him to blaspheme the Lord – that surely he is experiencing these things because he has done wrong in the eyes of God. Job, a faithful man, challenges God to, in a way, respond and prove his friends are wrong. Another man enters the story and backs up what the friends have said. Job begs God to let him see Him. God responds by speaking of creation. The book ends with Job’s life being restored. 

The book is, truthfully, almost discouraging. It’s really easy to put yourself in the story. As a very-much-so TRYING Catholic, it’s sometimes easy to wonder, “why is this happening to me, Lord?” when things go “wrong” in my life. Granted, I’ve never experienced the things Job had, but there have certainly been things in my life that have made me question God. 

I think the overall reason why Job is my favorite book of the Bible, is because it feels relatable. I love the New Testament and reading/hearing about the works of Jesus. It’s moving and evokes so much gratitude as I read. However, the book of Job evokes a feeling of relatability. How many times have we asked the question, “God, why do bad things happen to good people?” Even more so, “God, why are these things happening to me?” Our world is a place of suffering, and it doesn’t always make sense. But God is present even if we can’t see how He’s working in the moment.

God reveals to Job that there is a bigger story happening – even if Job can’t understand the meaning of the moment Job is in. The moment – and every moment – has meaning. The book of Job addresses the problem of evil, but doesn’t answer the problem of evil. God never gives a “why” to why suffering happens. He responds to Job with questions and gives HIMSELF. That’s the answer to all of Job’s questions – GOD. God responds to us and our suffering by giving HIMSELF in the face of Jesus and the cross. 

May we all have a heart like Job’s – to worship the Lord while suffering and all voices tell us to lose faith. 

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” – Job 1:21

“My foot has always walked in His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. From the commands of His lips I have not departed; the words of His mouth I have treasured in my heart. But once He decides, who can contradict Him? What He desires, He does.” – Job 23: 11-13

“So long as I still have life breath in me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips shall not speak falsehood, nor my tongue utter deceit!” – Job 27: 3-4

“While He kept His lamp shining above my head, and by His light I walked through darkness.” Job 29:3

“God thunders forth marvels with His voice; He does great things beyond our knowing.” – Job 37:5

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.” – Job 42:2