Friday, December 24, 2004

You Give and Take Away

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that Christmas Eve finds you having a stress-free day, enjoying friends and family. If you’re one of those dear people who helps keep things running on Christmas day, then blessings to you as well! In this season of giving and receiving I was reminded of a song that we sing frequently in our church. There is a line in the song that comes from Job’s experience that goes, “You give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord, Blessed be Your name.” One day as we were singing that song I was contemplating that phrase. We usually think of God taking things away from us in a negative sort of way, as in loss of something or someone that we love. That of course, is the context of Job’s cry – he had just lost his home, his business, his health and his children. His wife encouraged him to curse God in his grief. Job refused and that is where that famous line comes in.

In my contemplation of that line I reviewed all of the things that God takes away from me that I am really glad He took away. Here’s the beginning of my list – I’m sure there is more to be added to it.

God takes away:
- my sin
- my guilt
- my shame
- my loneliness
- my blindness
- my tears
- my pain
- my sadness
- my incompleteness
- my imperfections

He gives me instead:
- His joy
- His peace
- His completeness
- His freedom
- His Son
- His perfection
- His love
- His gifts
- His Holy Spirit

As you give gifts and as you take some away this Christmas, remember that our loving heavenly Father gives and takes away, too. Sometimes those losses are painful, but not always, we have much to be thankful for. I have tried to teach my children that we need to keep focused on what we have, or what we can do not on what we don’t have or what we can’t do. In all of those circumstances let our hearts choose to say, “Lord, Blessed be Your Name.”

No comments: