Job 3:3-4 (ESV)
 “Let the day perish on which I was born,
and the night that said,
‘A man is conceived.’
 Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
nor light shine upon it.
Job 3:11 (ESV)
 “Why did I not die at birth,
come out from the womb and expire?
This is a difficult chapter. Chapter 2 ends by saying that Job did not sin with his lips, yet here he is cursing the day he was born. Isn’t that sin? Isn’t that complaining against a sovereign God? The verses quoted above are harsh. Anyone who has experienced abuse can identify with Job’s words. Anyone who has lost a child will likely cringe at his words. This is hard stuff.
It is significant that nowhere is Job chastised by God for his words. Nowhere does Satan come back to God and say, “See! I told you he was only being good because things were easy.” Reflecting on this chapter, three ideas occur to me. First, it is not wrong to question why things are happening. Too often I have heard that it is wrong to question God. That seems odd to me in light of Job’s words here, and the complaints in the Psalms. Consider Psalms 10:1, “Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” That sounds like questioning to me. It is not wrong to question. It is wrong to rebel. Those are two very different issues.
Second, it is okay to be honest with God about how we feel. This is closely related to the first thought, but it has a different dimension. Not only are we often told that we should never question God, but we often feel as though we must always be nice to God. We act as though he has thin skin and gets his feelings hurt easily. It is not like he doesn’t know what we think. It is the height of absurdity to assume that although we feel hurt, abandoned, and rejected, we must never say that to God. He already knows. We are not telling him anything new. Until we are willing to tell him how we feel, he is not free to help us face our feelings and lead us to peace. Transparent honesty only makes sense when addressing an omniscient God. Listen again to Psalm 10:
Psalms 10:11, 17-18 (ESV)
 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
 O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
It is not necessarily wrong to question God, and it is right to be honest with God. Third, living by faith does not mean always wearing a smile. Let’s be honest, I’m tired of phony Christians who pretend that their world is perfect when everything is falling apart around them. I am also tired of whiners who never see God’s goodness, but that’s a topic for another blog. I believe that relationships are hindered, our walk with God is hobbled, and we communicate falsehood to our children and grandchildren when we suggest that life is always smiles. I had a friend who used to say that he had never had an argument with his wife. First, I don’t believe him. Second, I don’t want him counseling newly married couples. It sets up an unrealistic expectation. I’d rather have someone who says, “My wife and I get cross-ways with each other, but this is how we have learned to work through it.”
Life is not always roses, but God is always faithful. Walking with God is not about pretending we are good when we are not. Walking with God is not about hiding our true feelings from him. Walking with God is not about unquestioningly following him. It is about transparent honesty between us and God, and honesty between us and others, and faith in the goodness of God no matter how crummy life gets. We can tell him it’s crummy. We can pour out our heart to him. We don’t need to paste on a smile. But through it all, we can trust him. That’s what Job did. It is why God commended him. Let’s be like Job, not like Mary Poppins. That’s the model of a true believer.