The One Thing God Gave Job

When God comes to rescue Job, to allay his doubts and calm his fears, to bring him peace and restore his soul, He did not come with an end to Job’s suffering, with an explanation of it, or a reward for it. He came with one thing: a name.

The name God gave Job is God Almighty in English. El Shaddai in Hebrew. Literally, the God who is enough. 

Job needed an end to his sufferings. He needed to know it had an expiration date, that he would not be abandoned forever, that God would rescue. He needed an explanation for his sufferings, to know God’s reasoning, that he himself was blameless and this wasn’t some sort of punishment or abandonment by his father. He needed a benefit from his sufferings. He just needed it to be worth it.

But when God says, “I am enough,” you don’t need any of those things.

Job wanted to know the future. God says it is enough that He does. Job wanted to know the reason. God says it is enough that He has one, and it is worth it. Job wanted to know his suffering would end. Perhaps it is enough to know God began it.

Just as Job’s true despair didn’t begin until he forgot who God was, his peace did not return with God’s vindication of him or the return of his goods and restoration of his family. Peace didn’t come with the end of the trial. Peace came with the name and character and purposefulness of God. In the words of Job, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Every question suddenly insignificant. Every doubt silenced. Every wave still. Peace.

Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.”