My kids gave me an iPod for Christmas. I admit I haven’t listened to it much. But today I decided to put it on while driving to town. My son loaded it for me with mostly his style of music. I do like some of it but the rest gets sort of annoying. One band is a bit different than what I would typically choose but they do a couple songs I like so I went to those. It was interesting to me that a song that I used to sing and listen to ALL the time, I have hardly heard in the past year. I missed it and until it started playing, I didn’t realize how much . Music does that~ it connects a message within us like nothing else.
The song, Blessed Be Your Name, was originally written and recorded by Matt Redman but this version I like best….by Tree63
As I listened to the words, it’s like the Lord just started speaking to me. It was literally one of those revelation moments you hear about but wonder if you’ll ever experience!! I kept singing the words over and over again:
Blessed Be Your Name In the land that is plentiful Where Your streams of abundance flow Blessed be Your name Blessed Be Your name When I'm found in the desert place Though I walk through the wilderness Blessed Be Your name Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise When the darkness closes in, Lord Still I will say Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your name Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your glorious name Blessed be Your name When the sun's shining down on me When the world's 'all as it should be' Blessed be Your name Blessed be Your name On the road marked with suffering Though there's pain in the offering Blessed be Your name Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise When the darkness closes in, Lord Still I will say Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your name Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your glorious name You give and take away You give and take away My heart will choose to say Lord, blessed be Your name
Now bear with me as I pull this apart…in reality it took all of 15 seconds for me to get all of this but it will take me a bit longer to type it out.
Our world, up until 6 months ago, to most people was “all that it should be”. Yes, we lived for years with the sun shining down on us. The land was plentiful and the streams of abundance were definitely flowing. The profoundness of that statement is not lost on me even now as I type it. It is remarkable how aptly that described our lives.
But the fact is, darkness came. We went through a spiritual desert and it was no fun. The abundance and riches that we once had were drying up and the Lord was clearly leading us away. Do I still believe that? Yes, I do. Sometimes, through my misery I forget though and I have to be reminded.
I made up my mind last summer that even though the “darkness was closing in” I was still going to praise. And that’s what I did. I privately and publicly made a CHOICE . “My heart will CHOOSE to say Lord, Blessed be Your Name”..
I praised and the burden lifted. Yes, the struggles were there. Yes, the reality of our move was still there. Yes, there were financial and housing issues that were unresolved(still are). But in the midst~ I praised.
This song is based on the story of Job. I highly recommend reading it. It is quite a story and Job himself was a lot like me. He doubted God. He doubted a lot. His family was taken, his children and all of his riches, land , wealth. His animals died…he was stricken and it continued for a long time. I don’t really know how he survived but he did. Immediately following the news of his children’s deaths he says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
You see, Job was a righteous man of God. And God allowed Satan to do whatever he wanted to Job. Satan figured he could get Job to sin against God and curse God. He was allowed to do anything to Job but kill him.
Now, my kids are living and we still own our land. But I feel as though we have lost so much and are being stripped down to nothing emotionally, financially and spiritually.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away….
- I miss my friends
- My kids miss their friends
- I miss knowing my neighbours
- I miss our beautiful home
- I miss seeing my dad’s truck at the A& W when I go into town, knowing he’s there to talk to
- I miss seeing my nieces and nephews
- I miss knowing the cashiers at the grocery store, the tellers at the bank and the clerks at the post office
- I miss the trees, the trails, our rustic yard
- our bank account is empty and so far the work has not returned
- we’re stuggling to find a church that fulfills our needs
- we’re lost, we don’t really know why we’re here….it’s lonely and it’s depressing
Yes, we feel in many ways that the Lord has stripped us down to nothing.
But today, as I was listening to the song and listening along….a light literally broke through the darkness. I get it!! I get it!! Yes, I really get it.
“You give and take away, You give and take away , my HEART will CHOOSE to say, Lord blessed be YOUR NAME.”
It’s really easy to praise in the abundant times but how much more are we to praise in the desert places? !
The second part of the above verse says this: “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”Job 1:21
Have I sinned? I’m sure I have. Have I accused God of taking us down the wrong path? Not outright, but perhaps in my heart I have questioned Him. God has not led us astray.
When I got home and had a chance to read through portions of Job, I actually started at the end first. And maybe…just maybe…God led me there.
You see, after all is said and done and Job has lost it all…yet he trusts in his Lord. Yet he acknowledges his own sin, his own distrust and his own questioning.
It is in this moment that God restores unto Job blessing upon blessing. Job 42: 10 And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job TWICE as much as he had before.
Vs 12: Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job MORE than his beginning.
…it goes on to tell of the riches, the animals, the children he had….and his daughters, I might add, were the most beautiful in the land!
I’m in a Job moment of my life. Maybe you think that’s a bit exaggerated but it’s how I feel. Maybe you’re feeling it too for your own life. In fact, I know of a couple of you reading this right now who are most definitely in the worst place you’ve ever found yourselves. It’s okay because you know what’s coming if you remain faithful? The end. The end of the pain, the end of the taking away, the end of the disappointment, the end of the death and destruction that you see in the wake of your life.
It’s all about your attitude now. It’s acknowleding that you don’t always trust God but you know He’s there. It’s about that moment when you come to your knees and just like Job you say, “Though He slay me, Yet will I hope in Him…” Job 13:15
Though He slay me….I will HOPE.
I have HOPE.
He is my hope, He is my portion, He is my bank account and my best friend and the lady at the post office.
He is my beautiful scenery, my awesome church service and my beginning and end. It is He.
My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name.