Women are givers.
- We give our time freely.
- We give gifts to show our love and appreciation.
- We give ourselves to those we love.
God is a giver too.
- He gave His only Son to pay the price for sin that we can’t afford to pay.
- He gave you all you possess now and so much grace daily.
- He gave you breath and strength to rise this morning, a heart that beats without effort, and eyes to read this.
We like the giving part of God. We love to raise hands and praise God for all He gives us. We share gratefulness for God’s gifts with anyone who will listen.
We love when God gives us a new job, a new friend, a new child, financial provision, and mountain top experiences.
But God is also a taker.
He takes away our jobs, friends, loved ones, and financial security. How do we respond then? Well, if you are anything like me, you throw a little temper tantrum or hold a pity party for one, demanding that God give you answers for His taking away.
Hands don’t get raised as high when God takes away. But shouldn’t they? Does the God who chooses to give also have the right to take what He gave in the first place? Oh, we agree with that in theory, but in practice, it’s much harder to give praise when God takes away. It takes effort.
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Job lost everything he owned in one day. All his flocks, all his fields, all his wealth. In one day. And if that wasn’t enough, He also lost all of his children on that same day.
Can you imagine? Think about how you would fare if everything was taken from you in one day. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t fare so well. I’d probably be curled up in a fetal position in the corner of the room.
What did Job do?
He praised God.
“The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21b)
God recently took from me. He took my Dad away to heaven on Christmas Eve. One day my Dad was there, the next, he was gone. God took him. (This is why I haven’t been around lately.) Here’s a picture of me and my Dad from years ago:
There were times over the past month when I was sure my grief and brokenness would destroy me. It was in those times that God brought Job to my mind. I would repeat those words of Job to myself, trying to make sense of the sudden taking and keep me from crawling into the corner of the room.
At first, I was just repeating words without really meaning it. Treating the words like a kid who reluctantly repeats multiplication tables, “Two times two is four…” But eventually, the repeating challenged me. I felt them getting stuck in my throat like a big ball of lie. God was asking if I meant what I said. I had to stop and wonder if Job meant it when he said it, or if he was just trying to keep on breathing after the loss and speaking words forced him to breathe, like me. I can’t know the mind of Job at that moment, but I can relate to feeling upside down in the taking away. I didn’t lose everything Job did, but I did feel like I had lost everything.
When God takes away it can feel like your world just turned upside down. But I am learning that when God takes, when my life is turned upside down, I will praise Him still. Not because I feel like praising Him, but because He is always worthy of praise. God deserves our praise whether He gives or takes away.
How about you?
Are you in a season of God giving, or God taking away?
How do you praise God in both?
Share your praise of the giving and taking in the comments.