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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