No Strings Attached
Sep 22, 2019 714
We often only realise that not everyone has enjoyed some of the simple things we take for granted, when we lose these things ourselves. This insight was brought into sharp focus recently when I suddenly developed nerve pains in my left leg. The morning it happened I was scheduled to preach, but I couldn’t even walk the few metres from my house to the church. For several days I couldn’t even perform basic household chores. Just standing on my feet was enough to send paralysing pain through my body. Suffering helps us to appreciate the things that we often take for granted. But most importantly, suffering and pain helps the believer to learn the true nature of worship.
The story of Job is a case on point. Job had everything in life: health, wealth, family, friends, and a good relationship with God. But the devil laughed at Job’s obedience on account of the many blessings that God had bestowed on him. So God decided to be fair and allow the accuser to prove his charges by inflicting Job with all thinkable curses a man could endure without losing his soul. Would Job continue to worship God when everything was gone? Would he worship with no strings attached?
Instead of cursing God, Job’s suffering awakened within him a genuine appreciation for the blessings previously granted. It was brought into sharp focus that the blessings were no more deserved than the suffering he was now enduring. He looked back upon his life with gratitude and said, “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). Job manifested true worship even in moments of doubt, pain and sorrow.
True worship ought to manifest even, and especially when, things go south.
The question we ought to think about is whether our faithfulness to God would remain strong if we woke up one morning and found ourselves in Job’s situation. True worship should not be only a result of God hearing our prayers and of having an attractive testimony to give at Church each week. True worship ought to manifest even, and especially when, things go south.
I don’t want to pretend that it is easy for me or anyone to praise God in moments of pain and sorrow. I still have pains in my left leg, although they are no longer as terrible. I’ve have had my share of doubts. But if I have kept the faith in moments of undeserved happiness, why should I lose it when I seem to be struck with calamity? My pain, my suffering and my loss shall not separate me from my Lord who endured the most painful death at the cross of Calvary for me. Neither will my joy, health, wealth, or any other blessings blind me from the fact that all this is with no strings attached.
– Bonifresh Muhollo