Wednesday, March 4, 2015

He Gives and Takes Away

For the last few weeks, I have been wrestling with God lately about change. In some areas of my life, there is potential for great change that is exciting. In other areas, it seems like change is coming and I don't have any say in it. I'll admit it, in a world that embraces entitlement, sometimes I start to believe that I deserve to be happy, and that I could somehow deserve the blessings that God chooses to give me. But that is so far from it. God never promises us an easy life with a pile of good things that we get to keep forever. No, dear friends, it is much more the opposite. While he always provides and cares for us, there is only one thing that God offers to us that will last forever: eternal life with him, if we choose to accept it. If we place our hope and identity in these other things, then we are searching for meaning in something that will not complete us. I'm not just talking about a job, a car, or a favorite outfit. Sometimes, these things can be people, and our relationships with them.

For example, one of my very dear friends and her husband just moved away. I am very happy for them, and the opportunity that this change brings for them. At the same time, this seems to be a common theme in my life lately, as Aaron and I have had several close friends move out of state in the last year or so. Thankfully, technology allows for relationships to continue across a distance, but it just isn't the same as being able to get together and hang out on a weekly basis or at a moment's notice. We can't just hop in the car and be at their house in 15 minutes.

Friendships are so effortless in college, and then the real world hits, people move away, and you're no longer constantly surrounded by a group of people your own age. Things can get really hard, especially when you throw yourself into a group of friends who all already know each other. But forced awkwardness can eventually turn into a wonderful friendship, if only people are open to it. Still, it takes more effort than anyone ever told you when you were younger.

Back to my title. In God's perfect timing, just as he was removing another friend from my life, he was sliding one back in. Little did I know, one of my friends who moved away a few years ago was being drawn back to the area for her husband's job. In that moment, I saw how God was at work, even in situations where I had no control or felt upset. After all, I really don't have control in any situation, and he can take things away just as easy as he gives them to me. I am thankful that he hears my sorrows, but that he also everything already worked out. Friends are blessings from God, but our relationships with them can ebb and flow with the phases of life and the changes that they bring. Even our relationships with our spouses are blessings that can be taken away at a moment's notice. This just reminds us that the most important relationship, one that will never change, is our relationship with Jesus.  He is constant, and for that I am thankful.

Job 1:21



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