Choosing Him in the Take Away

“Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out, I’ll
Turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I’ll
Turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

God, you give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name”

I was out for a run last night at the ball field while my son was participating in soccer camp.  Matt Redman’s song Blessed Be Your Name began to play and I suddenly remembered a particular moment in church ten or fifteen years ago when the song first came out.  I remember we’d sing this song on a few occasions, but each time we did we would never sing the last stanza.

God, you give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

I remember wondering why we never sang it… It was just a fleeting sort of curiosity that would cross my mind as we’d go on and sing another song or move on to the message for the day.

Why don’t we sing that, Lord?  It wasn’t something I dwelled on…just something I would notice.

I don’t know the answer to the question my heart would ask. I never took the time to find out why.

However, as I ran along last night and thought about those words again, “God, you give and take away, You give and take away” I thought about how critical it is for a believer to come to terms with this reality. Of all the hard truths we need to come to terms with as we journey further along this beautiful road called life…this one is a biggie! We need to wrestle with and make peace with how a loving, wants the best for us Savior will “take away.”

I don’t think our faith can endure for the long haul if we don’t learn to recognize His unfading beauty through all the tears that we shed. I don’t think our faith can endure if we don’t learn how to hold onto and trust in the goodness of the Lord during those inevitable seasons of painful and paralyzing loss.

A heart must learn to choose Him in the “take away.”

A heart must come to believe that He is still all together worthy to receive glory, honor and power…(Rev 4:11)

I think about Peter’s response after Jesus asked him in John 6 (after many followers deserted Him) “You do not want to leave too, do you?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

we have come to believe and to know….

It was a journey for Peter to arrive at this decision. It didn’t happen overnight for Peter and even after making this faith-filled statement, Peter “the Rock” still crumbled in fear on the night Jesus was arrested.  Even after coming to believe and coming to know…this fear grabbed hold of him when Jesus was taken away. His faith was put to the test in the take away and he failed miserably.

I think about my running away days, how the fear grabbed hold of me too, and how I failed miserably too.

And then I think about Jesus, the moment I stopped running away from the take away and turned around to finally see everything He desired to “give” me.

It’s been an ongoing journey for my heart to learn to choose Him in the “take away.”  It’s been an ongoing journey to see how He has made all things beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

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