Matt Redman wrote a song whose lyrics include these lines:
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
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be your name.
A few weeks ago I've been hearing this song a lot. And frankly, it's scaring the snot out of me. I've been noticing the lyrics in this song I've been hearing at church, juxtaposed with the melody that is invariably cheerful.
Can I really honestly choose to say "blessed be the name of the Lord" when darkness closes in and what is given is taken away? It brings me positively to tears. How can I handle that when all that is in me, although I know what is the correct response, would want to scream, rebel, and throw a massive tantrum? It's so easy to be thankful when things are easy, and blessings are added to blessings. It's so easy to bless the name of the Lord when there is nothing to cry about. How selfish am I?
I pray that the land is always plentiful, streams of abundance always flow, the desert place and wilderness are nowhere near me, the sun's always shining down on me, the world's all as it should be, the road is not marked with suffering, and that there is no pain in sacrifice. However, I know that life is not this way, and that despite my prayers, life will never always be a charmed bed of roses. And because of that, I must also pray that I will be strong enough to remember to bless the name of the Lord even then. The thought scares me, but I must be prepared. Right?