My cousin Phillip was 20 or 21, I think. He was deeply involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was getting a degree in civil engineering, and this summer he intended to take a sort of "civil engineering missions trip" to a developing nation. He sent us all an endearing and earnest and confident and hopeful letter about it, requesting prayer and financial support. Then he rode his motorcycle from the East Coast to the Rockies to meet up with the group he'd be working with. After a week of orientation, he and his bike got hit by an SUV. He died instantly.
It's not like he and I were extremely close, really, but we had been getting closer. His family and my grandmothers are currently geographically nearer to me than any of my other family members, so I tend to celebrate holidays with them. One Christmas he taught me a few basic chain-mail weaves. It was fun. He was a good teacher, and very patient. He let me keep the chain I made.
It's not like I'm in doubt about his current location (if "location" is the appropriate word, about which I am more in doubt). There's this part of me that's a little tentatively jealous . . . how great would it be just to be with Jesus right now, without all this "glass darkly" stuff?
I'm not sad for him (although his trip would probably have been fun), but I'm sad for the rest of us, particularly his immediate family. They have already gone through years of baffling, heart-wrenching, completely exhausting struggles. Why this, too? I wouldn't blame my uncle if he started introducing himself as "Job" from now on. I wouldn't blame him if he's feeling some rage.
People say, "Poor Job--not only did he have to go through all that suffering, but he didn't even know why. He didn't even know that God was having a bet with Satan." Huh? That's supposed to make everything okay?
I don't really think he would have felt better if he had known that. Even if you assert and, in some form or other, believe as I think my uncle does, that God has a purpose for everything that happens and that in the end what matters is that He is glorified, there are still all these feelings that get involved. How could they not? And aren't they supposed to? Didn't God give us feelings--because He has them Himself? So it's hard not to feel like a pawn, and unjustly treated, even if you trust that somehow, in the end, God's going to do something good with the thing (or things) that just crushed your soul into the ground.