When He bestows and withholds...

withold (3 of 3)
withold (3 of 3)

"I trust in You, O LORD; I say, 'You are my God. My times are in Your hand." Oh, how abundant is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, and worked for those who take refuge in You, in the sight of the children of mankind! Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!" (Psalm 31:14, 15, 19, 24)

Right now I am sitting in my office space in our  new house. I gaze at through our big windows and see our big, blooming Camellia bushes, the sun shining on our deck and little Robins flitting from one tree to another. My heart is overcome with thankfulness for this beautiful home. We don't deserve this; it is above and beyond all we hoped for or dreamed. It is grace poured out into our lap. Of course, it's not perfect. I could make a fairly long list of all that others might change, but it's just right for us. We think it is incredibly beautiful, and a perfect place for our little family to grow. The day we got the keys we came in to look at our then empty home. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub we thanked God for this lavish blessing and gave it back to Him. We know it's not really ours, even though that's what the deed says.

It's so easy to feel like we deserve certain things in life. In reality every single breath is a gift, not to mention everything else. Anything we can call "ours" is a result of God's mercy and grace. Even though we have been given exceedingly more than what we asked from the Lord, my heart still hurts because of what He withholds. We have a beautiful home, a little one on the way and we are both doing what we love for a living. To most it may seem that life is pretty wonderful. I can't say we aren't extremely blessed, because we are. I don't ever want to take these things for granted. Yet we know pain. I feel hurt and darkness. It seems crazy that the two can exist in the same heart. For one thing I am praising Him with so much joy for extravagant provision and for another I am on my knees, in anguish and tears, begging Him to move.

I cannot pretend to understand the ways of God. He is a mystery I will never fully comprehend, at least while on this earth. But one thing I do know - He is faithful. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what he bestows or withholds, He is good. I have been on the mountain with Him, when rivers of blessing overflow. I have been through the valley with Him, when all is dry and broken. I have been in both places simultaneously. He is faithful in every season and does not forsake His own. He has a plan for our good and His glory in everything. Each day His mercies are new. In Him we find all we will ever need for every single day, no matter what it may hold. There is peace in His presence in the calm and in the storm. We can rest in that truth. "Be strong, and let your heart take courage all you who wait for the Lord..."