Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
…Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
You may have noticed that I was back in hospital recently to have a minor operation. This fixed an issue uncovered from when I previously had surgery to mend my broken collarbone. I am hoping that after two operations in three months I can stay out of hospital for a while!
Faith in a living God is something that has sustained me through times of worry and fear. Even though we have a wonderful hospital system in this country, surgery is always something that comes with risk, and it worries even the bravest of school principals!
Faith reminds us that as brothers and sisters in Christ we don’t face troubles alone. We walk with people supporting us. This was made clear to me yet again these last two weeks as students, parents and staff have prayed for me and asked after my health.
When such things happen to us, the first question we like to ask is ‘Why?’ If ever there was a man that deserved an explanation from God, it was Job. Job was a man who once had everything – a good livelihood, good friends, good family and a good deal of money. But one day all this was taken from him. After a great deal of encouragement from his friends, Job finally cried out to God in frustration about what had happened to him. In today’s language, Job cries, ‘Why is it that bad things have happened to me when I am a good person?’ God’s reply is seen above – the wonderful phrase ‘Were you there when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand!’
The byproduct of a broken world is that we all experience pain. Bad things do happen to good people and life doesn’t always make sense. As Jesus reminds us, ‘[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.’ (Matthew 5:45)
Although we may not understand the ‘why’ of everything, we have a God who empowers us with the Spirit to face the troubles of each day. Through Christ we are called to his church, which is full of believers who help us along our way.
As a school community there are many among us who face trouble, worry and hardship. I exhort us all to open ourselves in order to hear God’s calling to minister to each other in our need.
May God bless us with his assurance, that through all, He is indeed Emmanuel – God with us.