Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My God's Not an Indian Giver

No one likes an Indian giver. I mean, who does that, anyway? Gives a gift just to take it back. And how could you ever trust someone like that? Knowing that this precious gift you've been given could be taken back at any time... I imagine you would need to build quite a thick wall around your heart in order to protect you from heartbreaking vulnerability. Don't show too much excitement. Don't let on that you treasure this gift more than any other. Say thanks. Show some baseline gratitude. Don't get too attached. Maybe you'll just wear the ring on special occasions...hide it in a drawer so you can kind of live without it. Perhaps you should just stash the money somewhere safe, because what if you spend it and then have to give it back? Maybe you'll touch it when it's safe. In a year. Or twenty. When there's no way it could be taken from you. Or maybe you'll never touch it. Maybe you'll just live alongside of it--this gift--but never take part in it, never use it, never touch it, never allow yourself to truly hold onto it and experience its goodness. Because to do that would make you vulnerable. And vulnerability makes you broken. And in your brokenness you harden. And in hardness, you live life. Or something like life.

It's true. No one likes an Indian giver. But we sure do like an Indian giving God.

How many times have you, in the midst of sorrow, loss, heartbreak or struggle, heard a well-meaning friend or family member tell you that God's got a plan or God's in control or God gives life and takes it away? God gives life and takes it away?! What kind of God is this? And why would you ever choose to trust him? Life is the ultimate gift and he takes that away at whim? No thanks!

We heard phrases like these when we lost our first baby due to miscarriage. Friends and family. At a loss for words. So they tried to comfort us by telling us that God has a plan and God knows best. But what they were really telling us was that God killed our baby. That God is an Indian giver. That we can't trust God.

But I knew my God's heart and I knew that these things were false. He does give life. That's true. But He doesn't also take it away. There is another to blame for that. You may have heard of him...he goes by satan. He has come to steal, kill and destroy. He's not just the sci-fi monster Hollywood continually portrays. Although, those monsters aren't so far off. He's also real. Very very real. And he loves when God takes the rap for his work because he also knows that no one likes an Indian giver. And if God can't be trusted, then he wins. Evil wins. But that's not how the movies end. So why should real life?

You see, when bad things happen, we quickly cite Job. We say what Job said. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity? We say that we trust in God's plan, but how can we when it causes utter heartbreak? How could our God be so cruel? But if we don't trust that He has a plan, then what do we trust? What do we believe? Doesn't that frighten us even more than being robbed of all good gifts? So we proclaim these things with our lips while building walls around our heart and live a hardened life built on lies.

But we fail to read the rest of the story. We fail to see that there is a conversation of which Job is unaware. A conversation between Good and Evil in which Evil tempts Good to take back the gifts He's given to Job. But Good resists. And we see that Job's possessions and his health are taken by Evil and not by Good. And God spares his life.

Because my God and Job's God are the same. And my God's not an Indian giver.

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