I know the agonizingly slow dialogues about Job's suffering don't provide a real "pick me up," but the 40 chapters of pain do have a pretty redemptive conclusion in job 41-42. In fact, Job contrasts sharply with a similar book of dialogue we discovered from ancient Babylon called the Dialogue of Pessimism. The Babylonian example of pessimistic wisdom literature ends with the conclusion to commit suicide because life's problems are unbearable. Job comes to a much better conclusion even though he doesn't get all his questions answered.
While Job is searching for answers, he gets some welcome support from a few friends who sit in silence with him. But that doesn't last too long. Eventually they all take a crack at explaining exactly why God has made Job's life suck. Their explanations suck even worse.
When Job begins to sense how worthless his friends' theories are about God's hidden ways, he delivers a priceless one-liner in Job 13:5. "If you guys would be completely silent, it would demonstrate your wisdom." Ouch. For those of us who like to explain everything, that's not an easy rebuke to embrace. But when you are pulling stuff out of your butt to guess at what God is doing behind the scenes in someone's life, you need to hear it.
I've fallen victim before to the confusion between faith and explanations. Many of us mistake faith for ongoing explanations of exactly how God is orchestrating things. That's bogus. That is the opposite of faith in God. It is in fact reliance on one's perception and mental grasp of life's variables. Trusting God is not finding security in your overarching explanations of everything he does.
So the next time you find yourself wanting to keep explaining why confusing things are happening the way they are, stop. Shut your mouth and be wise.