by John McDuff

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken
 away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Noble posture this; to kneel and to adore!

To see no hand but ONE!

Sabeans; Fire; Whirlwind; Sword; are all overlooked.

The Patriarch recognizes alone "The Lord"
who gave and "The Lord" who has taken.

What is the cause of so much depression, needless
sorrow, unchristian murmuring in our hours of trial?
It is a refusal to hear His voice; His own loving voice,
mingling with the accents of the severest storm; "It is I!"

"Is there evil in the city, and the Lord has not done it?"

Is there a bitter drop in the cup, and the Lord
has not mingled it? He loves His people too well
to intrust their interest to any other.

We are but clay in the hand of the Potter;
vessels in the hand of the Refiner of silver.

He metes out our portion.

He appoints the bounds of our habitation.

"The Lord God prepared the gourd."

"The Lord God prepared the worm."

He is the Author alike of mercies and
sorrows, of comforts and crosses.

He breathes into our nostrils the breath
of life; and it is at His summons the spirit
returns "to the God who gave it!"

Oh, that we would seek to regard our own lives
and the lives of those dear to us as a loan. God,
as the Great Proprietor, Who, when He sees fit,
can revoke the grant or curtail the lease He gave!

All mercies are....
  by Him bestowed;
  by Him continued;
 by Him withheld.

And how often does He take away, that He may
Himself enter the vacuum of the heart and fill it
with His own ineffable presence and love!

No loss can compensate for the lack of Him,
but He can compensate for all losses.

Let us trust His love and faithfulness
as a taking, as well as a giving God.

Faith, resting on the promise, can  exult, "Even
so, Father, for it seems good in your sight!"