Some days unfold like an Irish Blessing. The road rises to meet you. The wind is at your back. The sun shines warm on your head. You have a secure sense that God is holding you in the palm of his hand. The birds sing and the flowers spread their beauty and fragrance all around you.
• The first flush of young love.
• The day of your graduation with all the wide world of opportunity spreading out before you.
• The birth of a healthy child.
• The day you land the job you dreamed of and prepared for.
• A perfect vacation day is crowned with a picture-perfect sunset.
There is something you need to know though if you haven’t already learned it. Not all days will unfold like an Irish Blessing. Not all seasons will be sunny and warm and fragrant. The cold, biting wind of trouble is sure to blow into your life one day. There will be hard days–hard seasons for all of us. We live in a fallen, sin-cursed world. Most of us will have to endure pain and disappointment that we never expected to face. There are times when the weight of life will be crushing. Some day you will receive news that you never thought would come to you. Your faith will be tested. Your joy will be threatened. Sin will do the ugly things it does and death will one day knock on every door. It is certain.
The Question Concerning Job
Like Job of the Old Testament, his story was one long season of unbroken blessing and prosperity before he became the subject of a conversation between God and Satan. After that things took a very, very ugly turn.
Though Job and his family did not know it, the question concerning him before the throne of God in heaven was this: Would Job curse God when his life began to unravel? Would he still bless God if he lost his wealth, his health, and his family?
Satan told God; “Job will curse you if you take his prosperity away.” At one low point in the story Job’s wife suggests this very thing… the thought could not have been original with her–no doubt it was planted by a demon or the Temper himself… She says; “Job, why don’t you just curse God and die.” But Job will not curse God. He affirms; “Even if he kills me I will trust him.”
Job’s story occupies 42 chapters of the Old Testament and ends without God ever explaining to him why he allowed Satan to take him through such sudden and horrifying loss. But Job will not curse God. He will not allow tragedy to rob him of his praise.
As long as you live you may not see all that is happening to you in the world unseen, but you will have to answer the same question down in the deepest part of your soul. Will you still bless him? Will you still praise Him? Will you still rejoice in God or will your trouble rob you of your joy and your faith?
Lately life in our little Granville Cottage has not been unfolding like an Irish Blessing. (Sometimes it seems more like a Greek Tragedy), but I’ve been doing some thinking and I want to publicly affirm my resolve to praise Him. I hereby affirm that I will rejoice in God no matter how hard life gets. I will praise him no matter how heavy the news, no matter how crushing the weight of life. I will dance before Him and I will sing and praise him with my hands and heart uplifted even if tears are running down my face and my heart is heavy. I will seek God’s empowerment to faithfully praise him all the days of my life.
For all who are watching I want my life to inspire others to Praise the One Who alone is worthy of all praise, so this is my resolve: I will praise Him still and I will bless Him still. I will never curse Him. I will never let anyone or anything rob me of my joy. I will sing to the end. I will dance to the end. I will not allow anything to steal my peace or weaken my resolve to faithfully praise my faithful God. I will trust him to the end, even if he kills me.
I had a breakfast meeting this morning. My friend had to cancel at the last minute. I used the time in the restaurant to enjoy some steel-cut oats, watch the snow slow the pace of morning traffic, enjoy the fire, and write this little piece about my resolve to praise Him as long as I live. While writing our oldest daughter Holly posted his from her morning Bible reading: “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands.” (Psalm 63:3-4)
February 7, 2013