How would you fill in this blank: “The Lord gives, and the Lord ________ _________.”
I had some misconceptions about God when I was a kid. I didn’t want to pray, “God, You can use me however You see best” because I just knew He would send me to do something gross. Or we would sing a song like I Have Decided To Follow Jesus and one of the verses said, “Though none go with me still I will follow.” I didn’t really like that because I liked my friends and family; I liked my life just as it was.
Job was a righteous man, and some really bad things happened to him. He’s the one who said things like, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21), and, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).
But there was still another 40 chapters to go! In the very last chapter of his story we read this―
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)
In hindsight, I think Job might have said something different: “The Lord gives, and the Lord gives back!” But this insight would have come only after “Job had prayed.” Getting into God’s presence helps us capture the heart of God.
- A grieving mother learned this when God gave her a son and gave back her resurrected son to her (2 Kings 4:8-37).
- And then again when God gave her their family land and gave back the lost income (2 Kings 8:1-6).
- The apostles learned this when Jesus gave them His presence and gave back a position of authority (Matthew 19:27-28).
- We can also know that Jesus will give us a hundred times what we’ve given up for Him, and give us eternal life too (Matthew 19:29).
God never takes anything from us unless He intends to give back something even greater, something eternal, something unbreakable, something un-losable!
You will only begin to see this better when you get in His presence. “The object of secret prayer is to unite us to God that we may know His abiding presence with us” (Andrew Murray). It’s time to fill-in-the-blank differently!
I’ll be continuing our series on The Prayers Of Elisha this coming Sunday, and I would love to have you join me!