Hold Everything Loosely

Sunday, October 4, 2020
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Job 1:20b-21 – Then [Job] fell to the ground in worship 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." (NIV)

As I walked in the park one morning, I was startled to see a woman bending over a faucet, water streaming off her head. Then, I saw the carrier by her feet with bottles of hair shampoo and rinse peeking out of the top, and I realized that she was washing her hair. She might be the same woman I've often seen hanging out in the park in an old car that appears to be packed to the roof with all her belongings. I think that she is homeless, spending her days under the shade trees in the park and finding some out-of-the-way spot to park at night.

By contrast, I was in the park simply walking for exercise. Afterwards, I got in my much newer car and returned to my well-equipped recreational vehicle, where a hot shower awaited.

That day, I was listening to an audio book by Chuck Swindoll: Great Lives: Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance. He was discussing Job's response, in today's verse from Job 1:21, to the loss of all of his earthly goods and his children.

    You and I arrived in a tiny naked body, and a not very good-looking one at that. And what will we have when we depart? A naked body plus a lot of wrinkles.

    We have nothing when we arrive; we have nothing when we depart. So everything we have is provided by the Giver of life. You take nothing because you brought nothing — everything is on loan. We enter the world with our tiny fists clenched, screaming, but we always leave the world with our hands open on our silent chests. Naked in, naked out.

1 Timothy 6:7-8 – For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (NIV)

God owns it all: the kids, the house, the car, the bank account. It's just ours to take care of while on earth. As the old saying goes, there's no need for a U-Haul behind a funeral hearse.

I don't know that woman's story — why she is living out of her car. But seeing her washing her hair in the public faucet made me wonder how I'd respond if my earthly goods and my family were suddenly taken away. Would I praise God in spite of my circumstances? Am I holding everything loosely, taking no pride in my possessions and family? Am I using those resources and possessions to serve the Lord? They're not mine, but a gift from Him, mine to use while here on earth. Those are questions to which we all must respond.

Prayer: Father, help us to respond as Job did, to fall to the ground and worship You in all the circumstances in our lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Cook <craftercook@gmail.com>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A wonderful devotion today, Sharon.

    What did you do to help her find a place to live? Food, a friend indeed?

    Thank you. It all belongs to God.
    (Manitoba, Canada)

    Thank you, Sharon, for today’s devotion.
    I like it.

    Amen Sharon. A sobering truth to keep us humble and dependent on Him.

    We are so blessed to have so much.
    I do hope that you helped that poor woman in some small way, just to make feel worthy and precious, for a few moments.

    Oh Sharon, my heart was breaking into tiny pieces as I read your devotional. I wanted to help that poor soul. Praying for her and thanking God for this devotional reminder of just how blessed we are. There but for the grace of God, go I. Thanks for your witness. Blessings.

    Greetings Sharon,
    Thank you for this very mindful devotional today. We need be thankful for all the Lord provides for us and take good care of His provisions.
    Bless you for the special writings you contribute.

    Beautiful words, Sharon, simply beautiful. I am reading Job at the moment and it is making me ruminate on a lot of things, including how everything we own and the mental faculties and spiritual gifts we possess are blessings from God and are on loan from Him.
    Yes, Papa, may we continue to praise You during bountiful times as well as in times of lack! And thank You Lord, for Your love of the lady in the park and Your provision of her!

    When we take care of others the Lord takes care of us.

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