On April 6th, 2015, a daughter was given to us. She was very sick and could not survive, and so on May 21st of that same year we entrusted her soul into the hands of the God who made her.
Her short life was a precious gift, one that radiated the grace of God into our hearts. Only God can give gifts of that magnitude, and it is our joy to receive them:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”
But because of our self-centered nature, we sometimes lose sight of His goodness and purpose in it all. It is easy to love God when His gifts abound:
“Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.”
And when our blessings are taken away, we (human beings) instinctively curse God for our fiery trials:
“They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”
Naomi’s death was a plague of sorts, a calamity that God could have averted. But he chose not to. And it is for that exact reason that we must worship Him and give Him glory.
Even if we were to rage against God, all our efforts would come to nothing. No one can resist His will:
“Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?”
If that were the path we had chosen, we would indeed have no choice left but to “curse God and die.” But we have instead submitted our hearts and quieted our souls before Him. We say with Job:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We also remember that the Lord Jesus surrendered everything—unlike Job, His life was taken from Him. Even at the point of death, Christ worshiped. And because of His sufferings, the blessings of heaven are ours by faith:
“Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
Lord, we worship You for what has been given, what has been withheld, and what has been taken away by Your almighty providence. You are good, and do good to Your people. May Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”