We’ve already looked at Job’s response when he lost his possessions, his family, and his health.
He responded with humble worship not only because he had a right perspective of God, but also because he had placed his security in God.
His security was not in this world. Not in his possessions, not in his relationships, not in his health.
As a result, even in the deep, deep pain of his loss and suffering, he could say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).
What about us? Especially as we walk through the valley of health struggles, where is our security?
Everything around us is temporal: items, houses, jobs, relationships, positions, degrees, talents, health.
God certainly blesses us with these things, and we are right to value them as His gifts. But we can all too easily put our security in the gifts rather than the Giver, leaving us in a tailspin when they’re taken away.
The things of this world don’t last. And God never guarantees that we will still have them tomorrow.
We all know life is uncertain. Especially when you’re dealing with a chronic illness. We can’t predict five minutes from now, let alone tomorrow. (Don’t even think about five years from now.)
Proverbs 27:1 admonishes those even without health issues, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
James writes a similar message:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”James 4:13-15
How then do we live in light of this delicate uncertainty? Or in the midst of our own loss or suffering?
Lamentations 3:24 answers, “’The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul. ‘Therefore I hope in Him!'”
One of my favorite Scripture passages is Habakkuk 3:17-19:
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
These verses remind me that even if I, like Job, find myself surrounded by emptiness, I can still have joy, because my security lies not in the things around me but in God.
Andrew Murray writes in The Deeper Christian Life, “I must see that everything I have is given by Him; I must learn to believe in God as the great Owner and Giver of all. Let me hold that fast. I have nothing but what actually and definitely belongs to God.”
As a Lord of the Rings fan, I also appreciate the way Tolkien describes hobbits in The Fellowship of the Ring: “they were, perhaps, so unwearyingly fond of good things not least because they could, when put to it, do without them.”
Can we say the same thing? “Christians are so unwearyingly fond of good things not least because they can, when put to it, do without them.”
The very temporality of our blessings should encourage us to value them all the more highly–to value them but not to rest on them, because only Christ is strong enough to hold us up.
As Aaron R. Wolfe wrote in the hymn “Complete in Thee,”
Complete in Thee—each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.
Let’s count our blessings but be complete in Christ.