Monday, March 10, 2014

Every Good Gift and the Good Giver

Every good gift comes from God.  Every blessing- from a cup of hot coffee on a cold and weary day to a new born baby- is given by God to help us to know Him; know his character.  Furthermore, all of these blessings are but a forerunner to help prepare us for the eternal mercies he has in store for us.

But why then does he sometimes take away these blessings?  Maybe it is a friend going through a hard time calling and needing to be comforted while your hot coffee goes cold.  Maybe it is the unexpected death of your newborn child.  Whatever it is, it can be painful and confusing when God chooses to withdraw those blessings.
'spring water pipe' photo (c) 2007, Tom Hodgkinson - license:

One way to think about it is as though these gifts are a pipeline- a conduit for getting God's grace and love to us.  When they are taken away, we are forced to go to the source- to God himself- to receive the blessing and fulfillment.  Jeremiah Burroughs, in the book "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" puts it this way:
"This is indeed an excellent art, to be able to be able to draw from God what one had before in the creature [i.e created things].  Christian, how did you enjoy comfort before?  Was the creature anything to you but a conduit, a pipe, that conveyed God's goodness to you?  'The pipe is cut off' says God, 'come to me, the fountain, and drink immediately.'
Since God is contented with himself alone, if you have him, you may be contented with him alone, and it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you.  It may be that while you had these things they shared with God in your affection, a great part of the stream of your affection ran that way; God would have the full stream run to him now."
So, when God takes away a blessing, look for it as a chance to get that fulfillment, that satisfaction that you drew from that blessing in him alone.  Go straight to the fountain and don't be distracted by the loss of the pipe.  Drink deeply and be satisfied.

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