If I measure my life only by what is helpful or harmful to me, Iíve missed the greater meaning.† That would be the egocentric view of providence.† The Lord knows all that I want and need, but my life has to fit into the greater themes of what is going on around me.† Job was used by God, as the subject of a test between good and evil, in the court of heaven.† God both initiated and permitted the disasters that befell Job, because of higher purposes, beyond Jobís knowledge.

Most of the time, disaster is brought on by our own foolishness, or weíre part of a greater judgment on the society at large.† Sometimes we suffer from spiritual opposition, and sometimes we suffer for reasons we canít comprehend.††

Iím no Job, but when terribly unfair things have happened to me, I have to find an answer for them, or life makes no sense.† The first place to go look is my own backyard.† Was I foolish, irresponsible or sinful?† Have I opened the door to evil in some way?† Am I getting opposition for doing what is right?† I usually get an answer because I ask the Lord to show me, and He does.† But there are times when the answer doesnít come right away, or Iím too blind to see it.† Sometimes, when explanations donít seem to come at all, itís because the problem is something God is using to get at something else.†

Itís the prerogative of God to do whatever He pleases.† He is God and I am not.† I know that Iím a branch that was snatched away from the fire.† I owe Him everything, but He owes me nothing.† Thatís the math of the situation.† The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.† Blessed be the Name of the Lord.†

But thereís more to God than math.† The absence of an answer can be a provocation to faith, or an excuse to mistrust His character.† But the character of God is good.† He is motivated by nothing less than that.† When He says yes or no to what I ask, itís because He is motivated by His goodness to do what is best in the situation.† The same is true when He seems to set me aside to wait, or uses someone else instead of me.†

Sometimes He has had to break me down in order to establish a stronger foundation in my life.† He humbles me now so that later I can be given something wonderful without being corrupted by it with pride.† Sometimes heís pruning me, and sometimes he is performing surgery.† Heís the Lord, and Iím not.† He does as He pleases.† Because He is not motivated by anything else but His goodness, and He is perfect in love, power and wisdom, Itís better that He have His way, than anyone else.†