“Hold Everything With An Open Hand” -Elizabeth Eliot

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job 1:21 (NASB)

For those who do not have a relationship with the Lord adversity can be especially challenging. For believers, troubles can be very problematic as well. We fool no one, even ourselves, when we say we are able to handle anything life brings our way. We may internalize our suffering so we appear stoic but that can cause physical symptoms.

However, Christians do have resources to assist us in coping with life’s problems in a productive manner. Job gives us a positive way to deal with adversity. He knew that everything good he possessed in life came from the Lord. So, his family, his wealth, his health were all on loan to him from his Maker. When he lost everything, he did recognize all he possessed was on loan to him. Apparently, he held everything with an open hand.

For Job to say what he did in today’s verse was remarkable. If any of us were to lose all we possessed, we might not be able to say as much for a long time. While we greatly admire Job’s ability to be submissive to the Lord as soon as disaster struck, we need to understand we may not be as quick to accept adversity. We should not swiftly judge ourselves by his standard.

I have been blessed to work with a few “Jobs” in my long years of ministry and know I received much more than I gave during my time with them. Such spiritual giants bless us greatly and we are better for knowing them.

As you deal with your personal challenges keep in mind that life is a daily battle and all you have from the Lord is strength for today. Tomorrow has enough sorrows of its own. Seek to live life one day at a time. Pray to your loving heavenly Father for grace for today. Try not to blot out today’s sunshine by importing tomorrow’s potential clouds into the present.

Phone, email, or in some other way connect with a Job you know and give them a precious promise from Scripture. Tell them that they inspire you as you observe their consistent walk with the Lord. They need encouragement as much as you and I do. Assure them of your love and prayers for them. You shall richly bless them!

O Master, let me walk with Thee
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret, help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.

Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, winning word of love;
Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the Godward way.

Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee
In closer, dearer company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.

In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broad’ning way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live.

– W. Gladden

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