"I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound..."

...both to be full and to be hungry."

These are the powerful words of Paul the apostle. Have I learned these lessons? Not entirely. But Sunday at church, my eyes welled up with tears as we sang the song "Blessed Be Your Name," and I remembered a very specific time I sang the words two-and-a-half years ago:

Blessed be your name / when the sun's shining down on me
when the world's all as it should be / blessed be your name
Blessed be your name / on the road marked with suffering
though there's pain in the offering / blessed be your name

You give and take away / you give and take away
still my heart will choose to say / blessed be your name

In December of 2005, Superman and I were still newlyweds and $2,500 had been stolen from us. It was just before Christmas. Living in a modest apartment on journalists' salary, having months before dropped $2,000 on a surprise transmission repair for our newly purchased car, it was quite a blow.

The Sunday after we lost the money, our church music leader picked that song for the congregation. I knew I had to sing it, even though they were some of the hardest words I've ever uttered in a song. Warm tears rolled down my face as my voice cracked: "You give and take away / you give and take away / still my heart will choose to say / Lord blessed be your name."

Fastforward to June 2008. My husband has just accepted a new job with a better salary and better benefits. He at last gets to leave "the temple of doom" and, hopefully, for the first time in years, enjoy his job. My heart overflows with gratitude when I think of his hard work being rewarded and when I touch my belly to feel a strong, healthy baby: "Blessed be your name...when the world's all as it should be."

Once we learn to both abound and to suffer need, to be full and to be hungry, the real challenge is never changing the song in our hearts. "Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise / and when the darkness closes in Lord still I will say / Blessed be the name of the Lord."


"Molly McGee" said...

Beautiful, Lois. I'm so happy for Superman!

Everyday Anne said...

This song has, on more than one occasion, made me bawl too.

Posh Mama said...

Awesome post. I am glad to hear things are going so well for you guys!