Shall we complain? Shall we repine? Shall we murmur?
(James Smith, "To the Bereaved" 1856)
"The Lord gave — and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21
So spoke the patriarch Job, when stripped of all his property and bereaved of all his children in one day. Reduced at once from affluence — to poverty; from the highest elevation — to the lowest point of human suffering — he exclaimed, "Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Such language befits us; for all that we have is from the goodness of God; it is from His free favor — and not because we have a right to it. All claim upon God was forfeited by sin; therefore all that we receive, is a proof of His kindness. All we that have — He gave to us; or rather, lent to us. And whatever He has lent to us — He may recall — may recall at any time, and in any way which pleases Him. There is nothing upon which we can lay our hand and say, "This is absolutely mine!" All is lent to us by a gracious God — lent us to enjoy, improve, and return to its proper Owner.
Shall we complain? Shall we repine? Shall we murmur if God takes from us any one thing which He has lent to us, especially when He leaves us with so much?
"The Lord gave — and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"