Today’s bible study is Job 33:13-14: Why do you complain to Him that He responds to no one’s words? For God does speak – now one way, now another – though no one perceives it.
Job is well known as one of the wisest men in the bible and also one of the most patient. He seemed to suffer hardship after hardship and trial after trial without complaining. It seemed that Job had more than his share of trouble, yet he always had patience and managed to get through it. The saying, “The patience of Job,” is surely familiar to most.
But most of us do not have that kind of patience. When we are faced with a problem, a worry or a trial, we want to do something to correct it, to make it easier, to make it go away. We do not always have the patience to struggle our way through without complaining. We are a people who have become accustomed to the ‘quick fix’ for most things. If we need money, we use a credit card. If we need new clothing, we rush out to purchase it. If we’re hungry, we eat a meal. And, if we can’t go for the easy fix, we complain. Unlike Job, who suffered trials without complaining, we tend to complain.
Think about just one ordinary day in your life. Do you wake up and complain about getting up, not having time for breakfast, not finding a matching outfit easily? Do you leave for work, only to find the traffic tied up, the subway crowded or the bus late? Do you complain that your children are too messy, not trying hard enough at school or breaking curfews? Of course we do. We are a complaining people. We want things to happen the way they should and we want it right now.
Yet Job asks us: Why do you complain to Him? And that’s a very good question indeed. Why do we complain to God? Why do we think that somehow God will wave a magic wand and make all of our cares, worries, troubles and complaints go away? They were not created by God. They are not the work of God, nor are they the will of God. They are simply factors in living as people.
We often feel that God does not respond to us when we pray. At some time or other, we ha ve all felt let down or discouraged when we have prayed for something or someone and our prayers seem to have been unanswered thing we so badly wanted did not materialize, the situation we wanted to change remained the same, the loved one who was seriously ill did not recover. At times like these, we wonder if God even hears our prayers. But we are assured that He does, and that they will be answered. The difference is that God’s ways will be answered according to His holy will, not necessarily according to ours. Perhaps God knows that what we pray for is not in the best interests of His plan and our own spiritual journey toward the truth and the light. If we can be just a little patient and remember the words, ‘Thy will be done,’ we are on the right track to understanding God’s answers to our prayer.
God speaks to our hearts, not to our ears. Every now and then we are extremely conscious of His holy voice within us. It is usually in moments of silence and at times of incredible beauty, but can also come in times of grief and trouble. If we learn to sense the voice of God, however and whenever it may enter our hearts, we, like Job, might find increased patience to endure the trials and tribulations of life.