Earlier this morning I spent about 40 minutes working on a devotional about how good God is. As I was coming to an end, I hit a button and it took me to another screen, erasing all of the work I had done. I tried a couple of things to bring it back, but it was gone. Ever been there?
I immediately asked God why that had happened. I heard a voice inside of me say, "It was because you hit the wrong button." I don't know if that voice was God or me. But instantly I began to think about another word from Scripture...
"The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh." Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything. (Job 1:21-22)
Now, I am not comparing my little incident with Job's great loss. Let's face it... Job lost his children, his health, and his prosperity. I lost about 40 minutes of computer work that I can probably get back with a little bit of focus and inspiration. Not the same stories... I understand. But the principle of Job is true regardless of what you've lost.
I've been at fault more than once in my life. I have given up great things because of stupidity. I have hurt myself and others by various decisions I've made. I am not perfect. I lose things I cannot replace, and I've given trouble I cannot get back. I cannot redeem situations I have created.
God, on the other hand is always faithful. Even when He is stripping things from my life that I think I need. Whether God is taking things from me, or is allowing the enemy to ransack my life, He is always faithful, can always redeem and restore, and is never to blame... even if He did the taking. He is always worthy of praise because He does all things well, even when all things do not end well.
If King David was right when he wrote, "The earth and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord," (Psalm 24:1), then everything would include my devotional. God can do what He wants with everything I have... including my family and even my life. Whatever God gives me is His, and whatever He takes from me is His. I should bless His name when He gives me something. I should bless the Name of the Lord when He takes something... even if it is the same thing He just gave me.
Notice that Job did not sin or blame God when the things he loved most were stripped away in God's sovereignty. Our finger was not made to shake in the face of God. Our lips were not created to accuse the Creator and Lover of our soul. We tend to question God's activity in our lives more freely than we praise God for His activity in our lives. This should not be. Neither should we bless God more honestly when He gives us a thing than when He takes that thing away.
Right now I can say that I am happier with this devotional which took half the time of the one I lost earlier. Did God take it? Did the Devil steal it? Did I sabotage myself with user error? It doesn't matter. God was good when I sat down to the laptop. He was good in the process of my writing about how good He is. He was good when I hit the wrong button. He was good when I couldn't get it back. He is just good, and worthy to be blessed regardless of my situation. The same goes for you in your situation today.
Today, you will likely gain something you want in your life. Be thankful. But in the same time period, you will likely lose something that you don't want to lose. I would never diminish that loss. I would simply say, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Throughout your situation, do not sin, and do not blame God for anything."
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.