Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:8-11)
Many of us are familiar with this conversation between God and Satan in the beginning of Job’s story. God says to Satan, “Have you noticed Job, the good man who fears me?”
I can imagine Satan responding with a scornful snort: “Of course he fears you–you’ve blessed him with prosperity and are protecting everything he has. Take away that blessing, that protection”–here the devil would cross his arms with a challenging smirk–“and let’s see if he still fears you.”
Which leads me to ask,
Why do we fear God?
(Fear: to revere, stand in awe of, honor.)
Do we fear God because of the material prosperity He’s given us? Because of the financial security He’s provided? Because of the good health He’s allowed?
What about when He takes away your strength and perhaps your beauty and perhaps even your simple capacities to do the things that make you “you”? Will you still love Him? Still fear Him? Still trust Him? Still serve Him?
God doesn’t owe us anything. Not lots of money, not an abundance of things, not good health.
God gives, we praise Him. God takes away, we praise Him.
I had to wrestle with this truth this summer as my fatigue and weakness continued, along with some unresolved knee and wrist issues. I felt as if, one by one, God was taking away all the things that make me who I am (and what I believe He created me to do): play piano, sing, exercise, work and serve in various capacities, and even write.
It was a hard moment that night when I sat outside on my patio, looking up at the stars through my tears as I cried out to God. When He gave me this verse with the gentle reminder that He doesn’t owe me anything. He is sovereign and supremely wise and acts according to His own perfect plan, not my desires.
My sisters in the valley, we have the privilege of being challenged to love God for who He is, not for the good health He gives us.
Let’s not waste this opportunity to grow. Let’s take advantage of this season in the valley to fall more deeply in love with our Savior. To trust the Lord in the darkness. To fear God even when He takes away.