Thursday, August 30, 2007
Blessed be Your Name
The worship leader at church last Sunday was talking about the songs he'd like to have sung at his funeral. That, of course, sent my mind on a quest of just what music I'd want at mine.
"Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redman made the top of the list.
It was the closing song at the funeral I attended yesterday.
"Blessed be Your Name, on the road marked with suffering
When there's pain in the offering--blessed be Your Name."
I could almost see Jerry smiling, free from the cancer that had ravaged his body for 3 years, as he watched his family bless the Lord even in the throes of fresh grief.
Job, the man reknowned for his great patience, actually uttered those words long before Matt Redman put them into song. His whole prayer, offered up after he discovered he'd lost everything--from his livestock to every one of his 10 children-- went like this:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21
Job worshipped the Lord in the face of devastating loss. In my younger days, I couldn't understand this. I would have kicked and screamed and questioned and generally thrown a hissy fit if such terrible things had befallen me.
Twenty-three years ago today, however, I had a Job-moment. While being extricated from our crushed car by the Jaws of Life, a prayer rose up from the depths of my soul--from a place I didn't even know existed until then. As I watched the paramedics remove my son's lifeless body from under the dashboard, the prayer formed silently in my heart. As excrutiating pain ripped through my body while I was pried out of the mangled remains of our Oldsmobile, the prayer became audible.
Just barely, but loud enough to cause the paramedics working on me to stare at me in disbelief.
"Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him . . . though He slay me, yet I will trust Him . . ."
My mind and my body were in shock, for sure. But His spirit within me had never been stronger, reaching up from the depths of my pain and grief to grab hold of the Good Shepherd's hand. And He walked me, slowly and patiently, though that Valley of the Shadow of Death.
It was--and still is--a long and heart-breaking road. But along the way, He's taught me to worship like Job did.
"You give and take away, You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your Name!"