The book of Job can be particularly troubling to study. We struggle with it because we innately desire things to be fair. We want to believe that good always befalls those who do good and trouble is the result of doing wrong. Job bluntly challenges that paradigm. When we drive past a crash on the highway we look and think to ourselves, “they must have been driving too fast” or “they were probably distracted”. When we hear of a shooting we think that it was probably a ‘drug deal gone bad’ or we look for other was to explain away or reconcile the tragedy. We want to feel that when bad things happen it is due to the fault of those involved. With Job nothing could be farther from the truth. A few of us can relate to Job because we have in many ways sipped from the same cup. We shutter when the doctor prefaces his remarks with, “I hate to have to tell you this but…”or “there are some things that are just beyond the scope of modern medicine”. Such was the case in my life a few decades ago when in one moment my life was forever changed. I had only been married a few years. We had one child and were expecting our second in two months. My wife and I were active in the church we attended and it seemed the blessing of God was like a sweet fragrance that completely enveloped our life. Suddenly the messengers began to arrive. As a result of an accident that damaged my spinal cord I was unable to work. Things changed rapidly and friendships begin to fade and disappear like the morning fog. It seemed, in those days, that God was far away. What few friends that remained were frustrated that I had not “received my healing” and were confident that I was being chastened by God because of un-confessed sin. They offered the same advise that Job’s comforter, Eliphaz, presented Job. While I would have never chose the valley that God had brought me to, I found that he never leaves us and he truly can provide a way when it seems that things are impossible. I still carry the effects of that accident but more importantly I know there truly is a Hope for the hopeless. Springtime does return, flowers again bloom, and the fragrance of His presence, enriched by the deep relationship forged in adversity, testify to His goodness, His wisdom and the perfection of His plan.