Then Job answered and said,
Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
Then Job answered the Lord, and said,
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him
We have considered the fact that sometimes God’s support of us is invisible, and we feel that we are facing the storms of life alone. Job had such a moment. All that he loved was taken from him, and he was not given the reason why. In the quoted passage above he expresses his intense desire to find God, just so that he can understand what’s going on. But for a long while God does not answer his pleas. He is nowhere to be found. Thus to all Job’s worldly pain, there is now added the spiritual anguish of perceived abandonment.
Then comes the temptation. Job’s friends not only reject and condemn him, they urge him to curse God and die. Though their words sting him, he holds strong. And this, I know, is the reason why God sometimes appears to be absent in our lives. Sometimes we have to know that we will do the right thing, simply because it is the right thing. What we choose when we don’t feel God peering over our shoulder reveals to us our truest nature.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee
In the end, Job emerged from his trial with a deeper, more intimate perception of God than ever before. He describes it as the difference between only hearing something, and now actually seeing it. By experiencing God’s withdrawal, he was able to then have a greater closeness to Him.
When God withdraws His presence, it creates a vacuum where we are able to see our own light, and recognize that it is the same as His. Or in other words, sometimes God steps back from around us so that we can discover Him within us.