“[God] has stripped from me my glory & taken the crown from my head.
He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone & my hope has He pulled up like a tree.”
Stripped, broken, uprooted. These are difficult words to read,
though they’re a strange comfort to those enduring such pains.
Job’s confession resonates in us, as he put into words what we failed to speak,
not by choice, but because we simply did not know how.
In the darkness of suffering, which looks different for everyone,
we are faced with the uneasy, painful reality of having to die to ourselves.
Our confessions: we still don’t fully understand what that means.
Yet, day by day, God is teaching us.
This dying-to-self comes from feeling that God is far away when we need Him most,
and that there is nothing we can do but keep believing that He will help us trust Him.
We lean on earthly glories & we boast in our crowns—until they are stripped from us.
We then realize that they were crummy gods & stupid idols
They were unable to give us life, meaning, or joy.
They couldn’t bear the weight of our soul’s greatest need,
which is to be satisfied in Jesus alone, forever.
They couldn’t provide what we were searching for & it is good when they are “gone.”
God strips earthly glories from us so we will learn to treasure Jesus.
Yet, to be broken down on every side is painful.
In our pride, we thought that physical pain might be enough to teach us how to die to ourselves;
but God is not finished yet, nor will He be until he takes us home.
There is more dying to be had, more of Jesus to know, until we see Him face to face.
Stripped & broken is the place where God builds us up again,
It’s for His glory, that He gives the crown of life to all who look to Jesus for salvation.
“Taken from” and dashed of hope is when Jesus actually gives us more than we deserve
He gives us what we truly need. To be “gone”—to lose our will, our desires, our plans,
To lose our understanding—is to live because then Christ’s life upholds us,
Then we treasure Him more sweetly.
We cannot live for Christ if we are too busy living for ourselves & asking Him to serve our desires.
We cannot fully hope in Him if our hopes are rooted in this world.
God takes away our crowns of control, so we will learn to trust Him.
He breaks us down, so we will learn to depend on Him.
He uproots our earthly hopes, so we will learn to hope in Christ.
And that Hope will never disappoint.
“For we know that our Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth.
And after our skin has been thus destroyed, yet in our flesh We shall see God,
whom we shall see for ourselves & our eyes shall behold, and not another.
Our heart faints within us!”