Scripture records two responses of Job to God’s appearance to him in the whirlwind. After God first spoke, Job answers in 40:3-5. But God was not finished. He continued to ask Job questions and reveal His glory through His creation, until Job gave a second, more thorough answer in 42:1-6. This sequence gives us some insight into God’s dealings with us as well.
When Job first responded he simply said, “I cover my mouth … I will add nothing more.” (40:3-5) But after God spoke the second time, Job’s response was more complete: “Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job’s second response was qualitatively different than his initial one in 40:3-5. At first, he just wasn’t going to say anything more. Now he was fully repenting. Which helps us understand why God continued to speak to him. His work in Job’s life through this situation was not yet complete.
God isn’t satisfied with halfway done work in us either. His goal for us is not our comfort, health, or what the world would call “success.” These are secondary or tertiary considerations at best. He is far more concerned with doing whatever it takes to mold our character, to make us into the finished product He designed us to be — even if it requires repeated trials or difficulties.
Sometimes our cry is: “Why won’t God just leave me alone?” But just as in the case of Job, God will not “leave us alone” until He has completed His perfecting work in us. Because He truly loves us, He is not content to leave us where we are. Just as Philippians 1:6 says: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” So Instead of asking “Why won’t God leave me alone?”, perhaps the better question to ask is: “When will I respond rightly to His correction in my life?”