I get emotional nearly every time I think of the concept. I come to tears nearly every time lyrics to a song communicate the truth. I have both tremendous joy and deep grief every time it takes place. This characteristic of God wrecks me.

God gives and takes away.

God gives life, and He takes life away. God gives friends, and He takes friends away. God gives opportunities, and He takes opportunities away. God gives wealth, and He takes wealth away. God gives influence, and He takes influence away. God gives significance, and He takes significance away. God gives heroes, and He takes heroes away. God gives parents, and He takes parents away. God gives children, and He takes children away. God gives work, and He takes work away. God gives talents, and He takes talents away. God gives blessings, and He takes blessings away.

And though having things given to me and taken away from me both can be very emotional, it isn't the giving and taking away that makes me cry. What makes me cry is that I must bring myself to believe that...

God is worthy of my praise anyways.

What God gives doesn't make Him more worthy. What God takes away doesn't make Him less worthy. Who God IS makes Him completely worthy of all my praise, adoration, and affection!

In health and in sickness, bless God's holy name. In wealth and in poverty, bless God's holy name. In laughter and in mourning, bless God's holy name. In success and in failure, bless God's holy name. 

The "good" that God allow to come into my life shows me that God is good. The "bad" that God allows to come into my life shows me that God must have something better! Praise God's holy name!

May our lives never be most consumed by what God is choosing to give or take away from our hands, but instead may we be most comforted in the fact that it is God's hands that is doing the giving and taking away. 

Whether you find yourself on a "hill" or a "valley" in this first week of 2018, I encourage you to give the song below a listen and worship your way through!

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” - Job

"You give and take away. You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name." - Matt Redman

"Father you give and take away, every joy and every pain, through it all you will remain over it all." - Tauren Wells