Everything was working out perfectly. I had worked hard to graduate with the highest honors and was ready to begin my big career. I had planned my career and education path for years and was ready for the next step in the process of the greatness that lay ahead. I had a ten-year plan. Everything was working out perfectly and the world was at my fingertips…until I got sick.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Isn’t it crazy how everything can seem wonderful and then all of a sudden, one call, one diagnosis, one accident can happen and change the course of your life for the rest of your life? Maybe you felt so blessed and that God was working everything out perfectly the way you wanted it and then the next moment you felt as though it all lay in ruins around you. Maybe due to these experiences and the crazy past few years of the world you are struggling with anxiety or sadness as you face the start of this new year. Some believe in chance, some believe in fate, but some, including myself, believe in a sovereign God who is over all.
The Example of Job’s Loss and Response of Worship
As Vernon and Mary noted in last week’s blog post, Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “there is nothing new under the sun.” This includes the concept of the Lord giving and even taking away. We see Job’s response to this difficult type of experience in Job 1:20-21 “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
To give some backstory, Job had literally lost almost everything up to this point in the passage. He had just found out that he’d lost his property and all of his children. Job had so many wonderful blessings in his life all of a sudden be taken away from him. However, the Lord was still sovereign over it all and Job recognized this. Job even fell down and worshiped the Lord at this most difficult time of his life! He acknowledged that no matter what is happening, God is in control and; therefore, He is still worthy to be praised.
We Have a God Who can be Trusted
This is such a humbling passage to read and digest. I lost nowhere near what Job lost, yet I did not find myself humbly worshiping my sovereign Lord like Job did. What an example He shows us in the importance of setting our affections on Christ and His character in difficult situations. I’ve recently been reading through the Psalms and see similar themes throughout the majority of them. They consistently encourage us to give thanks to the Lord because He is good, praise the Lord for being our strength, and rejoice over His steadfast love for us! These passages help encourage me that no matter whether my life is going good or bad, The Lord is in control and is still good. In addition, Proverbs 3: 5-6 instructs us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Even when my path turns into a journey I did not plan, I can trust the Lord and seek Him and know that He will direct my steps.
It is beyond my comprehension to understand how our Lord gives and takes away, but I realize that I am called to trust, follow, and worship Him through whatever He is giving and whatever He is taking. This principle is much easier said than done and, to be honest, I still struggle with my plans not working out and my good health being taken away. However, I choose to trust my Lord who has never failed me.
He has walked with me and provided comfort, healing, and direction on the new path that He has me on. My life at thirty is almost the complete opposite of what I had planned it to be as that twenty-one-year-old college graduate, ready to take on the world. Nevertheless, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).” In this new year, I hope that you find these passages encouraging as you face the Lord giving and taking away things in your own life. May we continually bless the name of the Lord and worship Him in any circumstance we face in 2022 and beyond.
Morgan joined the HBC staff in 2017. She loves to be outside (especially at the beach or anywhere on the water). She also loves to write, eat ice cream, snuggle with her polydactyl cat, and take walks with her family.