"The Lord gave--and the Lord has taken away! Blessed be the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21
Noble posture this--to kneel and to adore! To see no hand but ONE! Sabeans, Fire, Whirlwind, Sword--are all overlooked. The Patriarch alone recognizes that it is "the Lord" who gave, and "the Lord" who has taken away.
What is the cause of so much dejection, needless sorrow, and unchristian murmuring--in our hours of trial; and our inability to sincerely say, "May the will of the Lord be done!" It is a refusal to hear His voice; His own loving voice, mingling with the accents of the wildest storm: "It is I! Do not be afraid!"
"When disaster comes to a city--has not the Lord caused it?" Amos 3:6
Is there a bitter drop in your cup--and the Lord has not mingled it?
The Lord loves His people too well--to entrust their interest to any other. We are but clay in the hand of the Potter; earthen vessels in the hand of the Refiner of silver. He metes out our portion. He appoints the bounds of our habitation.
"The Lord God prepared the gourd! The Lord God prepared the worm!" He is the Author alike of mercies and sorrows; of comforts and crosses. He breathes into our nostrils the breath of life; and it is at His summons, that the spirit returns "to the God who gave it!"
Oh, that we would seek to regard our own lives and the lives of those dear to us--as a loan from the Divine Bestower. God, as the Great Proprietor, when He sees fit--can revoke the grant or curtail the lease He gave! All our mercies are . . .
bestowed by Him;
continued by Him;
withdrawn by Him!
And how often does He take away--that He Himself may enter the vacuum of the heart, and fill it with His own ineffable presence and love! No loss can compensate for the lack of Him--but He can compensate for all losses! Let us trust His love and faithfulness, as a "taking" as well as a "giving" God. May we trust His heart--when we cannot trace His hand!
Often are Sense and Sight tempted to say, "Not so, Lord!" But Faith, resting on His promise, can exult in this Rainbow spanning the darkest cloud, "Yes, Father, because this was Your good pleasure!"
"We know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan