“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord! We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?” (Job 1:21; 2:10)
These words from Morning Prayer for Wednesday, Week III, struck something in me.
Job blesses the name of the Lord, no matter what! He knows that all the goods he had came from God, and it’s God’s prerogative to take them away again. And in both of those situations, what does he say? “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
Everything–the good, the bad, the ugly, and the in-between–comes from God. And we need to accept it as coming from Him. We can’t pick and choose which of the things He sends we’re going to accept, just as we can’t pick and choose which teachings of the Church we’re going to accept, and which we’re going to reject.
It takes a lot of spiritual strength to say “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!” no matter what. But He’s our Father, and everything’s going to work out in the end. Even if it seems like it’s not…even if it seems like we’re in water over our heads and we’ve forgotten how to swim and we forgot to buckle our life-jacket on so it’s slipping away…we still need to bless His Name.
Blessing His Name means trusting Him, no matter what. We need to trust Him, even if like Job, we’re scratching our heads, trying to figure out “What did I do now to deserve this?” (Which in itself is a whole other question….
That’s what Job did. Job trusted Him.
So, no matter what we’re going through in our lives right now…
…if the Lord has “taken away” a job, or health, or a friendship, or a family member…we need to say with Job “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!”
…if the Lord has “given” a job, even if it’s one we don’t like, it’s still bread on the table and a roof over our heads…and with Job, we need to say, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!”
And we need to hang on to that life-jacket.
He’s not going to let us drown.
“Blessed be the Name of the Lord!”