This week we addressed Job's anger with God. He can't understand why all these terrible things have happened to him. He's angry with God - especially God's silence.
In his book Night, Elie Wiesel talks about Yom Kippur in the concentration camp. The prisoners debated whether to keep the required fast. Nearly every day in the camp was already a fast and eating nothing might be the tipping point towards death for some. Young Elie decided not to fast - partly for survival reasons, but partly also because, as he says, "I no longer accepted God's silence." His refusal to fast was a protest against God.
We struggle with whether or not it's OK to be angry with God, but if the Bible is any indication, the answer is yes.
In the midst of suffering, we, like Job, may feel like God has abandoned us. But in the midst of his suffering, Job grabs on to a thin thread of hope that remained from his past connection to God. It turned out to be just enough to enable him to say, "I know that my redeemer lives. I shall see God and God will be on my side."
Suffering can lead to a deeper, richer faith and deeper, richer connection with God. That may not make the suffering any easier, and those words should never be spoken to a sufferer as a platitude - it's something people who are suffering must come to on their own. But in the wrestling, in the anger, in the wrangling of a real relationship with God, we too may find that thin thread of hope we can hang on to...and say with Job, I know that my redeemer lives.
The full text of the sermon can be found on the Sermon page of this website.