“blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
where Your streams of abundance flow
blessed be Your name
and blessed be Your name when i’m found in the desert place
though i walk through the wilderness
blessed be Your name
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
blessed be Your name
blessed be the name of the Lord
blessed be Your glorious name
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
and 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
my heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name”

~ “blessed be Your name”… by matt and beth redman

This song was playing on the radio.. was it Tuesday? I don’t remember.. Anyway, I was listening and thinking about the words of this song.

I began to think about the part that says “You give and take away, still my heart will choose to say blessed be Your name…” That is so powerful. Matt almost didn’t include that line in the song, because he knew a lot of people might have a hard time with it. He played his new song for Chris Tomlin, and told him what he was thinking about it, and Chris told him that, no, people might not like that being included, but it is something that desperately needs to be lived out by the church.

I know that for me personally, that is not an easy thing to sing with my whole heart. I want it to be, but it just is not natural for us as humans to praise no matter what. Over the past few months, though, I have seen God grow my heart. He has grown me so that I’ve been able to more honestly sing this song than I ever have in all my life. I’ve had some hard times… I lost something that was very dear to my heart not all that long ago, and when that happened, I had to make a choice.

I had to choose to either believe that nothing good would ever come from what was going on or believe that God meant it for good. I chose the latter. It didn’t make it easy, but choosing to praise God even in the midst of my hard times gave me an incredibly sweet joy. It meant that I was letting go of what I had held dear and letting God use my loss of that to break me and teach me to trust Him all the more.

I don’t know even now exactly why I had to go through that.. but I do know that God has something better for me. Not to say that what I had wasn’t good or that I didn’t grow from it, but I guess it was just time for a new chapter in my life. God has shown me that by letting go and giving this to Him, I have my hands open and reaching, just waiting to receive the blessings He has in store for me. It is in the letting go that we learn to trust Him. He will provide for all our needs according to His glorious riches. I love the way Philippians 4:19 is worded in the Amplified Bible… “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” He is not going to let us lack anything we need. He loves us too much to do that. He doesn’t want us to hurt. And.. when we begin to praise Him in the storm, when we begin to choose in our heart to honestly say, “You give and You take away, and still my heart will choose to say ‘blessed be Your name'”… that is when our hurt begins to heal and we are given joy in its place. When we have been hurting deeply, the joy is that much sweeter. Sometimes blessings hurt, at least for a while.

It still isn’t completely clear, I still don’t understand all the way the “why” behind it all. But I’m trusting God. I know He has something beautiful that He is making through it. I know He knows what He is doing. And really.. that’s all I need to know. My heart chooses to praise Him.