Job 22-23

He sees me

“I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him. But he knows where I am going. And when he has tested me like gold in a fire, he will pronounce me innocent. For I have stayed in God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. Job 23:9-11 NLT

Let’s face it. We can’t always understand what God is doing. His ways are sometimes mysterious and even frustrating. Like Job, we look for Him, but can’t seem to find Him anywhere. It is as if He is hidden from our sight. But Job makes a profound statement that should bring us assurance and comfort: “He knows where I am going.” One commentator says that this phrase could be translated, “He knows where to look for me.” Either way, it reveals the idea that God knows exactly what is going on in my life. He hasn’t lost sight of me for one moment. He doesn’t get distracted and turn His back on me, only to turn around and find Himself shocked at some unexpected change in my circumstances. No, God knows right where I am. In fact, He knows right where I’m going. He has a plan for my life and that plan includes what I am going through at the moment – even if it is something I don’t particularly enjoy or understand.

Job continues to claim his innocence. He declares that he has remained faithful to God and has treasured His words. But then Job states, “Nevertheless, his mind concerning me remains unchanged, and who can turn him from his purposes? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do for me all he has planned. He controls my destiny” (Job 23:13-14 NLT). Job seems to understand that this is not all about his guilt or innocence. It is about the sovereign will of God for his life. God controls his destiny. What He has set out to do, He will do. Nothing Job does will change that. You can detect a little frustration in Job’s statement, and I don’t blame him. I have been there more often than I would care to admit. I have found myself frustrated by God’s plan for my life. Like Job, I know God is in control, and so I get frustrated that He can’t come up with a better scenario for my life than the one He has chosen. Sure, I know I contribute to my own problems by bad decisions and outright sin, but sometimes it just seems like things get all screwed up and I didn’t particularly do anything to “deserve” it. But that’s when I have to remind myself that God’s ways are perfect. And His love for me is perfect. He has my best in store for me. I am His child. He is my Father. And I can trust Him.

There are going to be days of darkness. Difficulties will come. Job knew that. In fact, he was in the middle of it. “Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere” (Job 23:17 NLT). He couldn’t see his hand in front of his face. He couldn’t see his God either. But he knew that God was in control. That was his hope in the midst of his hopelessness. And it should be ours as well. Our God is both powerful and merciful. And He sees us. Not only that, He loves us, and we are safely in His plan for us – no matter how the circumstances may appear.

Father, Your plan for me is perfect, but sometimes it is so hard to see, let alone understand. I feel like you are not there sometimes. I feel like I can’t find you. But You remind me that You can always see me. You never take Your eyes off of me. You hold me in the palm of Your hand. You love me and are looking out for me. Help me see You in the midst of my trials. Help me trust You in the middle of my scariest moments. I know you don’t have to explain Your ways to me, but help me to trust them. Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men