Read: Isaiah 61:1-4
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away…for some this phrase is said so often that it becomes cliché. But for me, it is anything but that. The way I have come to understand it is that there is nothing in the Bible that sums up life on earth better.
Job, a righteous man, had just lost everything God had given him…except for his own life…and this was only the beginning of his suffering. We learn later in the story, that Job ends up getting back even more than he had lost. This doesn’t mean he got back the lives lost, but a new beginning of a new life even more blessed than the first time around.
Life on earth is all about gains and losses. It’s about rejoicing and grieving. There are no exceptions. If you are human, you will experience joy beyond measure and heartbreak beyond words.
This pretty much sums up my autobiography. I have been given beauty for ashes multiple times. Ironically, the grief and pain I have experienced…the ashes…are what I now treasure most because it was from the ashes where beauty has been brought forth.
God created all things from nothing…except man. Adam was created from the ash of the earth. From the man he created woman. He created beauty from ashes. The Lord breathed life into the man and the woman…The Lord gave. He gave them a garden with all their needs met…beauty beyond description. But, one fatal mistake changed everything and the Lord took away. He did not take away to punish. He took away to protect. Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden into a world where life promised to be difficult at best.
At this point mankind is hopeless to reconcile with God until the Second Adam enters the scene…the spotless lamb, the Son of God. The Redeemer brings us hope. His death and resurrection bring forth beauty once again. We are reconciled through Christ. We have hope.
Life has always been about the Lord giving and the Lord taking away…from the very beginning with the very first man. It is God’s story of the greatest gift of all…the gift of redemption through Jesus Christ.
God always brings beauty from ashes…to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The Lord provides and protects. He gives and he takes away, and no matter how bad it seems…it all has a purpose. When all the broken pieces come together…they form a beautiful picture that brings glory to God and ultimate good to those who are His. This is how we can praise Him and how we can be thankful no matter what comes our way. God is sovereign. He is in control. He brings beauty from ashes. He is the only One who can always be trusted.
How can we experience joy if we have never understood sorrow?
Extra Shot of Flavor
“…Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Take Out (for further understanding)
Every promise from God is met with a condition. When you do your part, He will do His. Research the referenced passages and seek out the conditions of each promise.
God never promised life to be easy (John 16:33); but He promised to never leave nor forsake His children. (Hebrews 13:5) He is with you, child of God. (Matthew 28:20)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)