Remember mom taking you grocery shopping when you were a kid? The only thing in a grocery store that amused me was the automatic coupon dispensers, and I would spend every spare second playing with them. I was so obsessed with them that I wouldn't even notice if mom meandered into the next aisle. Remember the fear that gripped you when you turned around and she wasn't there?! I would instantly panic and start scanning the aisle for her. To my relief I discovered she still had her eye on me, and wasn't that far away after all.
Even though most of us don't still break out in cold sweat every time mother leaves our sight, everyone has experienced the fret of loneliness. At one point Job felt like he couldn't even find God! In Job 23:2 he cries out, "Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!" Job had gone through quite a bit to come to this point. He had lost his land, livestock, possessions, children, and health. Everything he had worked for and dreamed of was gone. Where was God? Was He gone too?
It is encouraging to know the end of the story. God had not left Job for a second; He was with him to the very end. In fact, after Job went through the refiner's fire, the Lord gave him back everything he had lost, times two! The account of Job is encouraging because if Job was never really alone, we have no reason to think we are either. Yes, there are times when we contemplate the refining process we are going through and ask, "Where is God?" The answer is found in Job 23:8-12, namely verse 10.
8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
9 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:
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Even when it looks like you're all alone, don't worry... you're not. The loneliness inside of you may say, "I'm all alone" but God's Word says, "I will never leave thee" (Hebrews 13:5). In the above passage from Job, verses 11-12 lay out a simple plan for staying on the right path even when it's hard. It's called a daily walk with God. Esteem your time with Him as your most important appointment of the day. Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day; Job 23:12 says your daily time with God should take precedence over your necessary food.
The Lord knows the way that you take from the "big picture view." When meteorologists track a storm, they use satellites and other equipment that provide a bird's eye view. Which would you trust more, a forecaster who uses weather balloons and in-space cameras, or someone who just looks out the window and says, "Oh look, a hurricane... everybody take cover!" God sees the big picture, which means we can trust Him! Even better, He is not an impersonal God who just watches things happening down here on earth; He is intricately involved in every area of your life. Nothing happens to you without His approval and involvement. No matter what is going on in your life at this very moment, He is right there with you.