Day Sixty-Two: God Gives, God Takes

READ:  Read the passage, noticing God’s involvement in the story and circling God each time he is mentioned.

JOB 1:1, 8-11, 21

(1) Job was a man who lived in Uz.  He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion….

(8) God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job?  There’s no one quite like him–honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”

(9-10) Satan retorted, “so do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart?  Why, no one ever had it so good!  You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does–he can’t lose!

(11) “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his?  He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”….

(21) Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.           God gives, God takes.  God’s name be ever blessed.

THINK:  Notice the interaction between God and Satan.  Does it bother you that God is bartering with Satan with Job’s life?  Is this the God you know?

Notice the words of Job, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.  God gives, God takes.  God’s name be ever blessed.”  If you lost everything–family, fortune, and eventually your health–would you be able to say such a thing?  Why or why not?  What would have to happen for you to utter similar words–and actually mean them?

PRAY:  Spend time meditating on the gut-honest yet God-honoring words of Job.  Let your emotions serve as a backdrop to your prayers.  Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you in the silence.

LIVE:  Today as you use different objects (your car, computer, TV, and so on) and as you enter different places (your home, school, workplace, and so on), consider how you might respond if God instantly removed an item without explanation.

What’s funny is that I’ve read this passage many times and have always so compartmentalized what happened to Job in terms of the conversation between God and Satan and how Job had all his land taken away that I’ve missed many of the correlations to my own life sometimes.  Sitting in my current situation, it’s easy to make a comparison of my life to that of Job, in terms of my husband because he’s really the one who has had everything stripped from him.  However, now that I think about it:  I’ve had just enough stripped from me to make me be able to see this passage differently, to make me able to see the correlation.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had many things wrenched away from me.  But, every time, after the hurting was over, and after I’d finished whining and complaining about whatever it was that I lost, I was able to see that loss was not the prevailing theme.  I had gained some things too.  But what’s more important is that the value of the things that I have gained far outweighs the hurt that losing them caused.

To date, most of the things that I’ve lost or that have been taken away from me, have not been given back to me.  Some of those things, I wouldn’t want back.  Some of those things I like to think I might want back, but I cannot imagine that my life would be better if I got them.  So for now, there’s only one thing that has been taken from me that I know I will receive back, and can hardly wait until it is returned.  My husband.  But, until then, I know that God is working in the both of us, preparing us to be even better for each other than when we were separated.  But not just better for each other.  Better for the work he has planned for us as a couple when he returns.  Better servants.  Better friends.  Better parents.  And more humble.  More submissive to God’s will and plan for our lives.  Ready to answer whatever call he has placed on our lives because we will have conquered something that we never thought we could have.

So…until that glorious day, I will continue to walk, with my head held high, waiting expectantly, hopeful that it is sooner than later, but with the knowledge that whenever that day comes, I will be fully prepared for it, and the world my husband and I will re-enter as a couple will have been being prepared for us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for all you do for us.  Thank you for this world that you have so lovingly created and that each one of us has been created in your image.  Thank you for loving us so much that you gave up your son to die on the cross that we all might have a chance to spend eternity in paradise with you.

Be with us Lord.  You know that we are just dust.  You know how easy it is to get attached to the fleeting things of this world, and how easy it is to forget that we would have nothing but that, by grace, you have decided to gift us with all that we have.  Lord, help us to be thankful for everyone and everything in our lives that we have received from you.  And help us to see that THAT is everything we have.  Help us to remember to hold all those things and all those people with an open hand so that it doesn’t hurt quite so much when you ask for them back, or when you require that we sacrifice them.

Thank you, Lord, for everyone who has stopped by this humble, little blog and decided to return.  I have no words but the ones you give me.  And Lord, please, when the words do not come from you, don’t let them come at all.

I thank you for today.  For every breath I was given.  For every breath my children took.  For every breath my husband takes all the way over in Kansas.  I thank you for my family.  For my friends.  For my mentors.  And Lord, I thank you for the people who have hurt me, because that hurt has caused me to have to turn to you if I am going to heal.

I praise your Holy Name.  And all this I pray in your son’s precious name, the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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