I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; (Job 42:5)
Loss has a way of shifting our focus. It painfully turns our heart’s affections from the temporal to the eternal, from the important to the most important. Furthermore, it can be employed by God to remove cataracts from our spiritual eyes. As a result, we may then see God, his goodness, wisdom, power, and sovereignty more clearly.
This is what happened in Job’s heart.
At the end of his complete reversal of fortune, Job learned a priceless lesson. He saw God more clearly; that is, he knew him more deeply. Shifted away from complaining and doubting, he saw God with renewed eyes: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.”
How different his words to God sound now!
No longer does he wish he were dead, but now he has 20/20 spiritual vision. He sees his trial as a gift sent from above for his own good, and God’s glory. Therefore, he repents. He repents of his attitudes and misconceptions about God: “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). However, before he experienced this change of heart, the Lord reminded Job of his smallness.
From the whirlwind, God spoke:
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4).
“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb (Job 38:8).
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place” (Job 38:12).
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail” (Job 38:22).
“Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane?” (Job 39:19)
Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:4-5)
Then God answered and asked more questions:
“Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?
Have you an arm like God,
and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:7-9)
At the end of it all, after his mind and heart were renewed, Job was in a different place. His family and fortune were more fully restored than they were reversed. And “the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:10-16). Most importantly of all, though, was his spiritual growth, his mature perspective. Job was a different man after his trial than he was before it. God’s grace had brought healing to his soul.
His relationship with God was deeper. He saw God’s goodness and wisdom with sanctified eyes. And his trust in God was more childlike and complete.
The Lord is doing the same thing in you…through your suffering. Trust him.