September 23, 2008
HOLD EVERYTHING LOOSELY
by Charles R. Swindoll
Without realizing it, by worshiping God during his woes, Job is saying, "In your face, Lucifer! I never set my affections on these things in the first place. And when it came to the kids, I've understood from the day we had our first child until we had our last, they're all God's. He is the One who gave them, and He is the One who has the right to take them whenever He wants them back."
That explains how Job could say in all sincerity, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." And why the biblical narrative adds, "Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God" (Job 1:21--22). Since he never considered himself sole owner, Job had little struggle releasing the Lord's property. When you understand that everything you have is on loan, you are better prepared to release it when the owner wants it back.
We enter the world with our tiny fists clenched, screaming, but we always leave the world with hands open on our silent chests. Naked in, naked out. And in the interlude, "Lord God, blessed be Your name for loaning me everything I'm able to enjoy."
"Through all this Job did not sin." Isn't that wonderful? "Nor did he blame God." Why blame God?
As one man has written, "God has given him a rehearsal for death. All things belong to God, absolutely, to be given as a gift, not claim, to be taken back without wrong. There is no talk of human 'rights.' The Lord is the sovereign owner of all, and Job rejoices in this wonderful fact."
With 20/20 perspective, Job lifted himself off the ground, looked around at all that had changed, then put his arm around his grieving wife, held her close, and whispered, "God gave, and for some unrevealed reason, He chose to take back. He owns it all, sweetheart."
This entire chapter could have been written in three words. I believe they represent the reason Job became a man of heroic endurance: hold everything loosely.
Are you doing that?
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.