Hello again, 1am.
I guess I should get used to this. The Lord has to wait until I lay down to sleep at night to speak because my days are so occupied with every other task, person, or noise instead of His. 1am is the quietest moment & His voice rings loudest at this hour sometimes.
So He keeps me awake just to whisper a little something more to my heart.
If I tried to express the chaos of the past month to you, this short musing would turn into a book.
Don’t worry; I won’t do that to you.
But, man, this month. It’s been filled with every possible emotion I can think of:
And the list continues. I could be here for days.
And I have a feeling I’m not the only one who knows what that is like.
What is it right now?
So much grief.
A friend asked me how I was doing today & all I could say was, “My heart is grieving. I feel like I’m going through a lot of loss right now.” Not just of one thing, either. It feels as though so much of what I love & value is being yanked out of my hands & taken away. It may not actually be reality (I’ll be the first to admit that my feelings are my most unreliable source). In fact, I’m certain that it’s not entirely true.
But there is a little truth in there & the feels are real, ya'll.
“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot throughout this past year among all the surprising gifts the Lord has given me that He is also the God that takes away. He takes if He sees that it is good to take. He takes if He sees that the glory of the taking greatly outweighs the comfort of the keeping. Do you hear me? Go read that again.
He takes away if He sees that the glory of the taking greatly outweighs the comfort of the keeping.
I’ve been aching at the thought of this. It’s not comforting in any way.
But it’s true.
The Lord seeks glory. He seeks to be made known as who He truly is. That doesn’t just happen through blessings that make us feel warm & fuzzy inside---even though He gets all the glory for that too. He gets glory by proving that He is good no matter what. He does this by proving that His people will trust Him & love Him & praise His name no matter what they have or don’t have. He does this because having Him is enough! He is enough. And He knows that. He knows that it is not the external blessings & protections that woo us to His heart & draw out our praise to Him.
It’s simply who He is that woos us. He is enough. And He is good.
The Lord will challenge me sometimes by asking me this one question: “Can I have that? If I asked you for it, would you give it to me?” The “that” is never the same thing, but I’ve come to learn that it’s more of a wake-up call than a request to take something good away from me. It’s His way of saying, “Don’t hold on too tightly to the things, places, & people I give you in your life---hold onto Me. I am the only certain, unchanging, constant One. I am your stable rock to stand on in the shifting tides & the sturdy staff that you hold onto while walking through dark days.”
I don’t believe that the Lord teases us, but I do believe that He won’t compete for our attention or our hearts. So if He has to periodically ask if He can take something back momentarily in order to put Himself back in priority number one, then He will. And He does.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5
No matter if He actually takes something away from me or not, I have to trust in who He is. I have to trust that He is good. I have to trust that He is willing & able to do what is best in my life. I can’t try to stabilize myself with my own thoughts or broken understanding. That’s like trying to brace myself in the midst of an earthquake. The floor will move beneath me & I’ll have absolutely no control over when it will stop. I will fall & fail every time if I try. But if I rely on Him to direct my paths, my every step, my every relationship, my every day---if I acknowledge who He is in my life, thank Him for the times that things seem favorable to me & submit to Him in the moments that His direction is uncomfortable for me, I cannot fail. Because He will not fail me. He is not even capable of it---it’s not in His nature. It’s not who He is.
I will repeat it over & over again: God is good.
No matter what the situation is that your having trouble understanding today, know that He is good in the midst of it. We may not see it now, but He is working something out underneath the surface of our lives. Sometimes the sprouting of that something shakes up the ground in ways that you’ve never felt before & that can be scary. The ways of the Lord may not always be the safest or the easiest to understand, but they are always good.
And for that, I will praise the name of the Lord.
Alexa | Joy