Monthly Archives: April 2016

Give and Take

IMG_0667This week, as I went about doing the daily tasks associated with my job, the word “taken” surfaced from the recesses of my brain. I guess I was thinking of my mother and how much has been taken from her lately. Her husband, her ability to work, her residence, her independence, and most recently, her health have all been taken.

I set my mind to wondering what God thinks about all the taking going on in Mom’s life. I remembered being been taught that “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” Do I really believe that God is good all the time, or just when he is giving me something? Jesus pretty much says that God is the very definition of good in Luke 18:19. Paul, in Romans 8:28 states, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

It is easy to see good at work when I am on the receiving end of something. But where’s the good in “take?” I have to remind myself periodically that because I am a Christian my present situation is not my final situation. I am a sojourner here on earth with a citizenship awaiting me in heaven. However, my tendency is to store up treasures here on earth, which exposes them to the possibility of being taken from me.

When I want to blame God for allowing something to be taken from me, I have to ask myself is he doing it to hurt me or to help me?  When it happens, shouldn’t the intended result be to rely more fully on God?   Is it a bad thing, or a good thing, to rely on God more fully in the absence of something I once idolized or cherished?

Mom is dying, and drawing ever nearer to heaven. Is everything really being taken from her in a permanent sense? Or, are the things taken actually being stored up for her somewhere else as part of a reward of some kind?  Dad is already in heaven waiting for her arrival. Mom will find work again in heaven, along with a new home and restored health.

As a result of my pondering another word enters my mind, “given.” I find my heart suddenly grateful for the things I have been given that cannot be taken away.

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Better

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I got a little down yesterday when I considered that no matter how much time, energy or resources I was investing in mom, she was not going to get better. The human side of me said, “why keep trying.” The Spirit inside of me thought otherwise…

Better

Health, worsening
Cancer, growing
Strength, waning
Mobility, lost

Resources, dwindling
Debt, climbing
Options, fading
Life, short

Gratitude, swelling
Anger, dissipating
Relationships, healing
Love, felt

Faith, soaring
Heavenly longing
Prayers, multiplying
Savior, come

My Heart’s Desire

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Mobility

Yes, I can still move my arms and legs.
But these legs can no longer bear the weight of my body,
Nor, can my hands hold anything heavier than a book.
A call light regulates the pace of my day.
But I have no control over when it will be answered,
Nor, do I hold any assurance anyone will remember to come.
I took simple movement for granted until mobility left me.

Rest

Hour after hour passes while I lay in bed.
But my mind finds no benefit from the idleness that drowns me,
Nor, can my body find the restoration it so desperately seeks.
My eyes are continuously heavy; I’m prone to doze.
But I can’t seem to enter the peaceful sleep I crave,
Nor, can my dreams produce one image of happier times from yesteryear
For years I denied myself rest, believing everything else to be more important.

Contentment

I pursued contentment relentlessly in happier times.
But it could not be found in exhausting my resources,
Nor, could it be attained with busyness, productivity or fraternization.
In solitude, a chorus of “Is this all there is?” constantly mocked me.
Recently disease has stripped me of all I hold dear,
And has left me with nothing save the faith I once considered childish.
Perhaps, I’m my own worst enemy as far as contentment is concerned.

Hope

Self-assurance always kept me from investing in hope.
But brokenness proved the hope I did have was sorely misplaced,
And when death reared its head, nothing on earth could chase it away.
It was then I returned to my faith completely; mind, heart, soul and strength.
Because faith’s stated purpose isn’t “Living to die,”
Instead, God grants me the promise of everlasting life, which extends beyond the grave.
With hope, the contentment I vainly pursued now tugs at my heart as I struggle to pray.