The Lord recently (as in last night) asked me a question.
He has blessed me with good, good things these past 9 months. He’s spoiled me, honestly. Sure, there have been rough moments, but overall His blessings have been generously poured out in many areas of my life – some in ways I didn’t expect.
After thinking of some of the beautiful blessings the Lord has given me before I fell asleep, He asked me, “What if I took it (what I have blessed you with) away?”
Whoa, what was that, God?
Job (this guy in the Bible) ran into this trouble quite heavily. He was blessed with SO many good things in his life that he probably didn’t know what to do with himself half of the time. Job praised God for each of the blessings he was given. One day, though, God took it all away. His land, his stock, his family, all of it. Gone. Turned to ashes. Job even got pretty sick during this time. (Job 1-2) As I’m sure you know, being sick leaves your body vulnerable. Plus, you can’t always get back up right after being knocked down by a sickness. So along with being sick, Job also carried a heavy load of heartache.
Aside from his blessings vanishing and his body weakening, Job continued to praise God in every moment. (Job 2:9-10) (I know, crazy, right? This guy loses everything and he’s thanking God for it.) After each possession was taken from him, he continued to genuinely praise the Lord. I think I’ve found myself “praising” God in the midst of ashes, really just hoping He’d return my blessing after I had praised Him enough. That’s a pretty selfish act. We were created to praise God because of what He has done, because His mighty hands have done it, not because we hope He’ll fix it all back together the way we want with some Elmer’s glue.
Truthfully, my blessings don’t belong to me.
They’re not something God owes me.
He just straight up gives them to me, and, if He sees fit, He can take them away.
There have been moments where God has taken good things away from me and my initial thoughts were “really?! That was such a good thing, and you took it from me?” (If that doesn’t sound like the biggest brat ever, I don’t know what does. Our hearts are pretty good at speaking out of pain. Thankfully God understands us in our pain.)
Someone once stopped me and asked, “so, if you love God, who is supposed to be good, why did He take that away from you?”
My thoughts: GOOD QUESTION. Let me know when you figure it out, ok?
Just kidding. I’ll let you in on a secret.
God turns our ashes into beautiful, magnificent situations all for His glory. It might mean taking away something good to bless us with something better. For example, that friendship you once leaned so closely on may have been good, but God has better for you. Believe it or not, God has this crazy cool ability to see the bigger picture. I had a best friend once whom I loved dearly. Without really understanding it, she was hurting me and my relationship with God. She woke up one day with a lot of bitterness toward me. Our friendship was ruined. Completely over. I didn’t have a huge support group besides her and a few others, who all took her side in things. I was alone after that. It was the perfect time for God to sweep in during my aching and become a friend, and not simply a God I worshiped. Eventually, I became better friends with the girl who is my best friend now. Man is she a blessing. I couldn’t see it then in my hurt, but He knows what He’s doing. He sees the bigger picture, friend. Trust that.
This blessing He may have taken from you might mean that you have more opportunities to spend time with Him and to experience Him in all His fullness. Pray that you could find moments to spend with God and experience Him. Ask God to show you why He took away what you thought was good. He might answer you through revelation, or through another blessing. The girl I now call my best friend blesses me in ways I didn’t expect to be blessed by a friend. God teaches me through her. He really knows what He’s doing.
So here was my answer to God’s question last night:
“I’ll praise You anyway! No big deal!”
Just kidding, friend. My answer was more along the lines of:
“Wow, that would hurt. I think my heart would physically ache, but I would praise You through it because You deserve all praise.”
Thinking about losing everything (like the way our friend Job did) humbled me, and actually hurt to think about. I’m so comfortable where I am. What if God really did take it all away? That’s vulnerable for me to tell you, but that’s the truth. It would hurt. It’s easy to become dependent on the blessings God has given us and forget to be dependent on the One who gave them. It’s easy to say you’ll praise God in your aching when your heart isn’t aching. It’s easy to say you’ll trust God in the chaos when everything is in order. If you’re aching and having trouble praising and trusting God during your situation, take comfort in this: even Job’s soul ached while he praised God, and even when his dearest friends tried comforting him. Job 16-17:2
So, here’s the hope I want to offer you:
- You’re not alone in suffering a loss. Job suffered quite a few of his own.
- God makes beautiful things in His time.Ecclesiastes 3:11
- It’s ok to ache when blessings are taken from you. The important thing is to praise & trust God through your aches.
- Don’t allow your aches to leave you bitter. Cry out to the Lord. Let His love and strength heal your wounds, friend. Allow yourself to experience this love through those closest to you.
2 Samuel 22:6-20
- God is greater than any other, and He is greater than your situation.2 Samuel 7:22