“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.”
Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005, we decided to attend a church we had visited before – Sugar Hill Baptist Church in Buford, Ga. We had visited the church a year earlier while attending a conference in the Atlanta area. Sugar Hill had supported the church (Crosspoint) we helped start in Gulfport, Miss., from 2001-2005. We hoped the pastor at Sugar Hill would have information about how Crosspoint had fared in the storm.
We took Jonathan to the children’s area. We knew he needed to play with other kids. It had been a long week since he had even been around other kids.
Then we shuffled into the sanctuary and picked a safe place near the back. We were still just overwhelmed from all that had happened that week. The storm. Lack of power and communication. Bad news from New Orleans. Clean-up work. Several relocations. Then two days of intense work. We needed rest and refreshing.
My first real moment of release since the storm came when the praise band led the congregation in a powerful cover of “Blessed Be Your Name.” The song, made popular by the band Tree63, was a pre-storm favorite, but now it really meant something.
The song is about worshipping God regardless of one’s circumstance. It talks about blessing God’s name “in the land that is plentiful / Where streams of abundance flow” and “When I’m found in the desert place / Though I walk through the wilderness.”
The chorus says, “Every blessing You pour out, I’ll turn back to praise / When the darkness closes in, Lord / Still I will say / Blessed be the name of the Lord / Blessed be Your name / Blessed be Your glorious name.”
Then the lyrics take a different turn.
“You give and take away / You give and take away / My heart will choose to say / Lord, Blessed be Your name.”
The words “You give and take away” spoke to me in a profound way. Tears flowed and at that moment, I knew everything was going to be okay. It was the first time I KNEW it was going to be okay. Finally some peace in my heart. The Creator of the universe was still in charge and my circumstances would not and could not change that fact. The blessings He has poured out on me far outweigh the bad things that have happened in my life. Life. Breath. Family. Friends. His Son. All blessings.
In the Bible, Job lost EVERYTHING before he said the words: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
God used that song in a great way and I worshipped Him in that moment. My healing started there. Sometimes when we sing that song at church or I hear it on the radio, I am carried back to that moment – a moment of true, heart-rending worship. I will always love that song.
Blessed be Your glorious name!
By the way, we did find out our first news from Crosspoint after church that day. Gulfport had taken a hard hit, but our friends from Crosspoint were safe.