For William Varner
Saturday, July 9, 2005
David Gunner Gundersen
There was a blameless man who was so godly he would pray
For the sins of all his children at the dawning of the day:
“Perhaps these ones I love have cursed the ever-blessed God;
So I slay this lamb and beg that You withhold Your gracious rod.”
Still, God saw fit to bruise them in His dark, mysterious grace.
But “behind a frowning providence He hid a smiling face.”
For the Lord is not so simple as to strike without an aim;
The brightly-burning furnace is a purifying flame.
There was a tested man who lost his all and then some more.
He buried his face into his hands and bowed upon the floor.
Then he cried, “Shall we receive so much that’s good from God above,
But reject His hard calamity that strikes with equal love?”
There was a weeping man who said that God was to be blessed
Both in poverty and riches, both in safety and distress.
So the Lord received his praises both in honor and in shame,
For this broken man found strength to say, “Lord, blessed be Your name.”
There is a lamentation that says “Blessed be the Lord,”
Whether skies be blue or black and whether grace or piercing sword.
There is a hopeful countenance that praises God for all,
Saying “Blessed be the Lord” both in the still and in the squall.
There is a throbbing man who is so very dear to me.
And just like the shattered Job of Uz, he’s picking up debris.
His life is now bereft of one that he had so adored.
Still, I hear him say with quivering voice, “Oh, blessed be the Lord!”
The Lord is always giving, yet He sometimes takes away.
But the Sun still shines as brightly in the night as in day.
Dr. Varner, please keep saying, as you feel the piercing sword:
“Oh, blessed be our sovereign God. Oh, blessed be the Lord.”
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
– Job 1:20-22
“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”
In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
– Job 2:10