“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
On Sunday we were singing Matt Redman's chorus based on these words. I was reflecting on the many blessings we have been given this year--a home (twice), a church family, friends, a home education group. The list goes on and on. We have been given much, and we have given much praise for these things. Many of those gifts came at the result of having other things taken away--a home (twice), a church family, friends nearby. It has been a bittersweet year, but more sweet than bitter. We have tried to give God praise in the losses as well as the gifts. Sometimes that is easy. Other times, not as easy.
We are seeing God change the path we thought was planned for us here. Although we continue to praise God for those changes, I have found it more difficult this time. Sometimes the cut of the loss goes deeper than other times. The end of this verse has been challenging me. Job was not praised for not feeling a loss. He was praised because he did not "charge God with wrongdoing." What does that look like? How do we not accuse God of wrongdoing?
Does that mean we are not allowed to ask why or question how we got to this point? I hope not, because I have seriously asked how did we get on this detour. Honestly, it is probably not a detour, but it does feel like it. In my mind, however, asking the question is not the same as accusing God. In fact, it is more an exercise in being certain that I am doing what I need to be doing and hearing God the way I need to be hearing him. Questions look at my own obedience and surrender, not at God's culpability.
Instead, I believe that "not charging God with wrongdoing" is not forgetting that he has our best in his plans. We should not accuse him of leaving us open to harm or actively bringing our harm. Harm comes and bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. However, it is not God's intention to harm us, but to develop us for the future. We cannot see the whole picture of how what God intends the things in our lives to develop. What we see as detours, he sees as the best path to make us in his image.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
You may be in the midst of a "detour". You may feel like more is being taken away than is being given. May I encourage you that he sees the bigger picture. He knows what this detour is developing in you. Be encouraged, you will not be in this place forever. The chorus repeats,
"He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose say, 'Lord Blessed be your name."Whether he is giving or taking away today, please join me as we choose to worship his name.
If you have written on the verse today, please add your link below.