25 October 2013

Bless the Lord, O My Soul (A Habit for Day 25)

Do you remember Job's response to all his trials?

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, and said, 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."  Job 1:20-22

These are some packed verses.

First, Job shows, from what I can gather, all the deepest cultural signs of grief available to him.  Tearing of the clothes accompanies some of the most desperate moments recorded in the Bible (such as when a king of later times heard the law of the Lord and realized he and his people had not been keeping it, thus putting themselves under God's judgments).  Shaving the head--probably including his beard--would have likely been a sign of shame, or deep humility.

It's important to recognize how deeply Job showed his anguish before we move on to study and emulate what he did next:  worship and bless the Lord.

He doesn't deny the depths of the woe he has just experienced, but he does lay everything back at God's feet in full surrender and trust.

He blesses the Lord without asking why and well before he hears any of the Creator's words at the end of the book.  He offers his worship, never fully getting answers--at least not the ones we would expect him to want (like why everything was allowed to happen the way it did, which is an answer we get as readers but one Job never appears to be allowed to see).

It's from this twofold foundation--the reality of our grief, and full trust and worship for God--that we can move on in faith, claiming promises and obeying commands like these:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28


"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  1 Thessalonians 5:18  "This command is an assurance that even those things which appear to be against us will work for our good.  God would not bid us be thankful for that which would do us harm."  White, Ellen G.  The Ministry of Healing, "Mind Cure", p. 255.

So today's habit?  Completely simple, because it only requires that we do two things.  First, get rid of denial and accept our anguish.  Second, lay that anguish and God's feet, praising and trusting Him still.

I did say "simple" and not "easy", but I truly believe there are blessings in store for us if we take God's challenge to thank Him at all times, in fullness of faith.

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1 comment:

  1. "Praising and trusting Him still." He is still there, with us.


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