The following is an email I sent to some girl friends on the afternoon of August 18:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:20-21)
I have had a busy day. I gave Adelynn breakfast and lunch, took her to the library, put her down for nap, played with her, read her countless books, changed diapers, did some cleaning, washed diapers, and volunteered in the church office for a few hours. Although busy, it has been a good day. I closed my eyes in prayer and began to thank God as an overwhelming sense of awe came over me for the blessings God had given me. I had a daughter to love on, a husband who works hard so I can spend my days with her, a house to clean and even a car to take us to the library! I felt very excited and thankful for these things, then I fell somber as I felt a nudge to stop and confess, “God, You are worthy of my praise even when I don’t have a good day. You never change because of my circumstances, if I have a bad day, or if the world is in chaos. I want to praise You just because You are You, not because of what You can give me.” At the same time, though, I was reminded how much easier it is to praise God in the good times!
The verse above refers to the day Job got some distressing news. Messenger after messenger arrived with news that his animals and house had been destroyed, and all his servants and sons and daughters had been killed. Can you imagine?? How do you respond to that? The Bible says Job shaved his head and tore his clothes. Now, I doubt I would do that. (Really, if I just lost everything else, I’m not sure I’d want to be bald, too!) But the verse says he fell to the ground “in worship”! Not sure I can see me doing that either. After all that just happened? But Job had such a view of God that he could praise and worship the Lord, even when everything was taken from him.
Spending time in prayer, encouraging each other and having quiet time are all easy to do when things are going well for us. Or when traffic cooperated on our way to across town, or when we got the raise at work, or when our children behave in public and everyone tells you how perfect they are. But can you encourage others in Christ if you just had an argument with a family member? What about if things were stressful at work?
The truth, though, is that God is still praise-worthy, no matter what. So, for better or for worse, our challenge is to give God the glory due His name. I’ll be the first to admit that this is easier said than done! However, if we are living as Christians, then we should be worshiping Him regardless of situations or circumstances.
I sent that email out at 4:00pm while having such a good day. At 5:00pm, my car was involved in a wreck. Adelynn was just fine, no one was was hurt and everything is being taken care of. My Mother-In-Law has been gracious enough to loan us her car until ours is fixed. But it just really put things into perspective for me with how quickly circumstances can change. One minute everything is fine, and the next minute, everything can be different. Just like things drastically changed for Job. He did the impossible though, by worshiping God right after he lost everything. During my day, it was much easier for me to praise Him when things were going well. It wasn’t my first reaction on the side of the road to be thankful for all He has given me when my car is broken. That is something I am going to continue to strive for each day. I hope this sparked some thoughts with you today. Hope that you are having a good day – but that you’re praising God either way!