From the chapter “A Tree in a Story about a Forest.”
The story is not about us….
The oldest book of the Bible is supposedly the book of Job. It is a book about suffering, and it reads as though God is saying to the world, Before we get started, there’s this one things I have to tell you. Things are going to get bad.
Job is a good man whom God allows to be destroyed, except for his life. God allows Job’s family to be taken, along with his wealth and his health. Job calls out to God, asking why God would let this happen.
God does not answer Job’s question. It’s as though God starts off his message to the world by explaining there are painful realities in life we cannot and will never understand. Instead, he appears to Job in a whirlwind and asks if Job knows who stops the waves on the shore or stores the snow in Wichita every winter. He asks Job who manages the constellations that reel through the night sky.
And that is essentially all God says to Job. God doesn’t explain pain philosophically or ever list its benefits. God says to Job, Job, I know what I am doing, and this whole thing isn’t about you.
Job responds, even before his health and wealth are restored by saying, “All of this is too wonderful for me.” Job found contentment and even joy, outside the context of comfort, health, and stability. He understood that the story was not about him, and he cared more about the story than he did about himself.