Faith Mindfulness Prayer Worship


The Lord gives and he takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord! Job 1:22

Now, come on, be real! Is that the first thing you think of when you have lost something very very important to your happiness? It sure is not what I think of, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”.

I was a very lonely child and longed to have a family and along came Lois and then our firstborn Cheri. Talk about important to my happiness! Then God decided to test my assertion that I held all things in and open palm. Cheri became quite ill, and the doctors had no clue what to do. I faced the possibility of losing her and by God’s grace I ran to him and affirmed that she belonged to him and asked for the grace to love and serve him no matter what the outcome. I then had the elders of my church fast and pray with me and anoint her and God chose to heal whatever the illness was. James 5:14, Mark 9:29

God, in his sovereign wisdom might say “Yes, or NO, or Later”, depending on what is best. I need to say, “You know what I want but have your way even if it isn’t mine”. Luke 22:42 I need to remember that if I whine a lot, God might give me the desire of my heart and send leanness to my soul. Psalm 106:15

An excellent exercise is to review all the things that are in my life on a regular basis. I then ask how I would feel and think about God if those things were taken away. If I honestly would feel destroyed and bitter, then, that thing has become my God. I remind myself that whatever I “own” will soon own me and I will be a slave either to God or to people and things. Romans 6:16 (I would rather be a slave to God). I remember that my God will fight for his relationship with me against anything that threatens to get in the way. (Jealousy for a relationship) Exodus 20:5 So, if anything is more important that God, then both the devil and God are motivated to see it taken away. The devil wants it taken from me because I have promised to be angry with God and God wants it because he will have no rivals in his love relationships. Wow! I had better hold everything in an open palm.

When I was about 12, I was envious of a man at church that had a beautiful baritone singing voice. (Unlike my high squeaky soprano). I remember him singing the following song. by Stanphill Ira Forest:

I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand
I don’t know about tomorrow
It may bring me poverty
But the one who feeds the sparrow
Is the one who stands by me
And the path that be portion
May be through the flame or flood
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood

I used to sing this song from the top of a 50 foot tree in the mountains of India in order to cheer up my lonely soul. Later, as a young adult, I returned to the church where I had first heard the song and I shared about how it had blessed me. The congregation seemed strangely quiet in response to my sharing. Later I learned that the man, who had sung this song of faith, had lost his daughter to a car accident when she was 18 and had become bitter towards God and had abandoned the church as a result. His daughter had become his god. God is interested in “total surrender” and not in some sort of insurance bargain where I pay my weekly installments and he must come through with———– (fill in the blanks).

“Dear Lord help me to carry all people and things in an open palm and be able to say, “The Lord gave and then took away blessed be his holy name!”

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