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.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Standing by the freshly dug grave, I watched the heavy-hearted couple make their way up a steep hill. The father served as the lone pallbearer. Only one was needed to carry the casket holding the body of his infant son. He placed it on the nylon straps that would lower the small casket into the grave. What do you say to a couple who has lost a child? I remember only hugs and tears as we waited for the rest of the family to gather on the windy hillside.
I said a few words that seemed so inadequate. A relative spoke as well, and I was thankful for his personal and comforting remarks. Then the father spoke. His words were emotional but strong and right from Scripture. Over the sound of the wind blowing through the nearby trees, he said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Here in this statement, first uttered by Job in his tragic loss, are words declaring the sovereignty of God and man’s only proper response. With broken hearts, tearful eyes, and quivering lips, we acknowledge that God is the giver of our first breath and the one who determines our last. Even through our pain, we declare His praise.
Father, thank You for the example of that young grieving father on the hillside who declared Your sovereignty. God, when we stand in brokenness and pain, may we too declare Your praise. For Christ’s sake. Amen.
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