“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)
When I think about loss, there is a sadness that comes over me. I recently had a string of friends who lost their babies due to miscarriages or death after delivery. Another friend recently lost her mother. Then there are stories of people who have lost their friends or loved ones due to betrayal or hurt. Loss is painful regardless of what form it is experienced.
It is easy when one is experiencing loss to feel like God is only a taker. In the book of Job, God tested Job’s faith by allowing the enemy to inflict pain on him and take away his sons and daughters, servants and livestock. Job was tempted to curse God but Job responded by saying, “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.” (Job 1:21) Job chose to continue to worship and trust the Lord in the midst of his losses. At the end of Job’s life, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.” (Job 42:12) Loss was not the end of the story for Job. God’s blessings were.
The truth is that while we live on earth we are going to experience losses. When sin entered the world, death entered. However, just as loss was not the end of the story for Job it is not the end of the story for us. God made a way for us to experience eternal life with Him by giving His only son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins through His death. By acknowledging that Jesus is our savior, we can have the promise of eternal life with God. This is the ultimate proof of the very nature of God – He is a giver, not a taker.
Beth Moore, a bible study teacher, posed this question in a recent study called “Inheritance”. She asks, “In your heart of hearts… and in your darkest darks… what do you really think is God’s character… giver or taker?” In our deepest and most painful loss, God is there and wants to give you something. The very nature of God is He is a giver, not a taker. Loss is not the end of the story. God wants you to give Him your pain and trust Him in it. Can you believe that God desires to give you something good in the midst of your loss?