The Lord Gives and Takes Away

This has been something on my mind for the last several years.  I’ve watched my young ones grow up – my youngest isn’t a baby anymore – and I’m realizing my parents won’t be around forever.  The immortality that I felt as recent as ten years ago was really just the vision of the shortsighted.  Mortality was something so distant and time was an ever-present commodity.  The Lord takes away.

During that time roughly ten years ago was a time when I first came to realize that my life had dealt me some lemons that no amount of lemonade could remedy.  I found myself so angry at the stupidest of things;  I would snap and burst into a fury that no amount of explaining could dampen.  The Lord takes away.

Ten years before that time, I felt so alone; there wasn’t a single soul aside God alone that knew what I had been going through.  I spent my years pretending that everything was normal – that I was okay.  I was hiding my hurt and trying to convince myself along with everybody else that I had my life under control, that I was strong, and that I didn’t need anybody.  It took a lot of work, but I convinced myself.  The Lord takes away.

Nearly ten years earlier, I sat alone watching cartoons, when I got the oddest request.  It didn’t go a way or stop being asked of me.  It was interrupting a cartoon I didn’t get to see very often – probably my favorite.  I got it over with.  The cartoon was over.  The Lord takes away.

I was born.

I knew what was happening to me was wrong.  I was in a home where God was real enough to have earned dutifulness and very real devotion. I cried out as a child to the God of Heaven and I knew that He was there.  He answered my prayer.  My heart was with Him every time I sought Him.  The Lord gives.

My simple faith continued under that burden when someone took the time to open the doors of faith wider to me.  I experienced that God was not only real and attentive to me, but He was also so immense and endless and very powerful in peoples’ lives.  I was blessed with a drive and desire to achieve.  I became acquainted with God through scripture, prayer, dreams, vision, and books.  He gave me a friend who could understand, I was less alone.  The Lord gives.

I found help with all of the pain and fear; I experienced grace and acceptance where my mind had learned to expect only darkness.  I began to look deeper into my soul and closer at God – trying to see past things I had heard and read.  I learned to trust God more fully and opening the whole of my soul to Him in his presence.  I received a knowledge of the blessings of God to the broken hearted:  promises, peace, understanding, a heart full of joy, greater love of God and knowledge of His goodness and mercy, and kinship with and love for all humanity.  My burden has been made light.  My eternal life has already begun and the Lord continues to give.

Still, in other ways, right now it feels like the Lord is taking away or has taken away or will take away;  I am broken that I deserve nothing of what He has given me and that I have no claim on any of His blessings to me.

But I know the Lord gives and I know that He does it even while He’s taking away.  I know “in whom I have trusted.”  He has won me.

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