And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither:
the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
– Job 1:21
The new year of 2008 has arrived with its usual fanfare.  Depending on where you sit the
year can hold a lot of promise or much dread.  Everyone believes in something even if it is
not God.  There are those who believe in good luck or fortune.  There are some who believe
or their employer or their family or friends.  There are some who believe in the media or in
their money.  Whatever they believe if it is not God it will eventually fail them.  Why?  I’m glad
you asked.  It does happen and will happen because in this life nothing or no one is perfect.  
The fires of fear and doubt have been flamed in to a roaring blaze by the talk about the
impending recession.  The gloom and doom crowd of Wall Street have been trumpeting their
message.  On the political front the presidential election season is well under way with all of
the voices making their usual rhetoric about needing a change making a change etc. etc.
etc.  We are still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and our soldiers are still dieing.  Lay offs and
cut backs and high-energy costs are the talk of the land.   For those who believe that man is
his own god and the world is becoming a better place their message rings a little hollow.  But
for those who name the name of the Lord we are not to be as the writer said “as those who
have no hope.”  In the book of Job we find a just, perfect and upright man who was very
blessed of God.  The question is why was he blessed. Some including the devil believed that
it was based on what he had, his family, his finances, his fortune.  When all of that was taken
he still blessed God.  The devil then believed that it was based on who he was a man of
integrity that even though had lost his possessions still had his health.  If you took that away
he would give up and curse God.  Yet we find that Job could still speak well of God.  This
was based on who Job understand God to be.  Job saw God as the sovereign ruler of the
universe who has everything in His hand.  If he chooses to bless us by giving us family,
fortune, finances fine but if He choose to take those things away fine.  He is still God.  We as
Christians can trust God He will never let us down.  The Lord is always looking out for what is
best for us.  In faith we trust Him.  The writer of Ecclesiastes said there is a season for
everything and a purpose to it all. “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,
and a time to build up; 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to
dance;  a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to get, and a time
to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to
keep silence, and a time to speak; 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a
time of peace.”   The same God who gives us the light of day also give us the dark of night.  
In our world we need both.  The days are for living and working and being about our Fathers
business.  The nights are for resting, restoring and renewing.  We don’t question the wisdom
in that.  They are both a blessing because both come form God.  If we accept the wisdom of
that simple act cannot we trust God in the harder matters of life illness, injury, sickness, loss
of job, family, fortune, even death?  The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away, blessed
be His name.

H. Scott Latimer
Fall Creek Friends

Pastor's Pen