I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The God Who Takes...and Gives.

This God who loves me, who created me, who gives me breath everyday, has allowed me to see a side of Him that I never would have tried to get to know on my own. He has allowed tragedy after tragedy to surround me, and there have been many nights I grappled with wondering if He was even "there". There have been nights I cried silently, wondering as Job once did, "What is my strength that I should wait? And what is my end that I should endure?" (Job 6:11). I never would have understood why a person would speak those words, until the past three and a half years. Day after day, week after week, there have been so many different things I have given to Him to take care of.....and nothing. Minute after minute, hour after hour, through bitter, sad, broken tears I have cried out, "Why?". I know there is no answer, regardless of all the nice, tidy religious suggestions one may try to push on someone who is hurting...all I have come to know is to just keep going. Even when grief is all He gives, keep going. Even when silence is all He gives,keep going. Even when He takes.....keep going. Even when He could change it all in a second but doesn't...keep going. "Shall we accept good from God, and not accept adversity?" (Job2:10)

I have come to know through tears, loneliness, and grief over the past many moons of darkness that one thing is certain; this is God's doings. I can't change that. And He knows my heart well enough to know that the anger I have towards Him is out of the love I have for Him. The doubt I have in Him is out of the belief I have in Him. He alone brought on these dark days...He alone can change them. I will continue to wrestle, and feel each pain for what it's worth until He answers....just as those we read of in the Bible did....I can't let go of Him, because I believe He has been here beside me through it all. And if I believe that,then I believe He has felt it all. And if I believe that, then I must believe that He can change things. I have learned that my great grief is, indeed, great faith.

My family has many things hanging in the balance right now. So much can change, for the better. But because of the past few years, I have some issues with trusting that things will get better. (Because I think there is MUCH to be said of our theology/faith/hope changing due to life's happenings. If we blindly ignore the bad, we will surely miss Him in it. If we only smile when hell is all around, we negate the beauty of hurting, and become like unfeeling robots. I canNOT look at His life, and the way He created us, and believe that that is the way we are to live....it goes directly against the heart of the Gospel.) Because I have become so familiar with the darkness around me, it's been tough for me to get to re-know this God who gives. Yes, I've seen Him as the God who takes for a while now...but I am seeing glimpses again of the Giver.

I guess I'm walking a fine line. I am *almost* at a point where I can say, "What if He actually DOES answer these deep prayers I've been crying for years?". Almost. That is a big step. A different place. A place that is still quite unfamiliar to me. There's so much He's taken, things we've longed for, prayed for. I am beginning to wonder if He may, just maybe, give again. Restore again. Much like Job, I guess. Job didn't get his loved ones back, but He did get a new family. So there's this great tension of living with reality, but accepting new gifts. Still carrying love and grief for what was, but getting to love and and accept new gifts, as well.

Maybe that's where I am right now. I am still in this cold darkness, where He has placed me...but my empty hand is reaching out, and it is warm...and I think I may feel the Hand of the Giver, once again.

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