Saturday, 7 November 2015

The God that gives and takes away

Last Sunday we sang the song 'Blessed Be Your Name' during a joint Church meeting.  My husband prayed out in the service afterwards and his prayer brought a tear to my eye.  This week the song has been in much of my thoughts and in conversations at home.

The bridge part of the song features the words 'You give and take away' - as we have talked at home this week we discussed the way that this bridge is sung at different churches by different musicians.  We have heard it sung in a quieter more contemplative style; we have also heard it sung in a more upbeat style.  This week Malcolm and I talked about the style and how at times we have struggled when it is sung more upbeat; as for us our minds tend to focus on The God that takes away given our own experience and then that final line of the bridge 'my heart will choose to say blessed be your name.'  For us it, at times, has been a matter of making a choice even though our minds, emotions and heart have ached.  The choice to bless His name and worship Him in the midst has been a challenge. 
As we talked this week we realised something on the style; both are completely ok!!!!    A more contemplative, quieter, thoughtful style - a place to reflect to acknowledge the blessing of Him giving or the pain of the God that takes away is appropriate at times but the more upbeat version is also a place of thankfulness that He does give.  It is a place of worship; a statement declaring that He is the sovereign, all supreme, awesome, truly amazing, all-powerful, omnipotent, completely able, the Giver of Good things, the supreme author, the all-knowing, all loving God who is in all of His splendour, glory and majesty does take away - but then in all that strength, glory and power is the God whose name is Comforter, Immanuel [God with us], One familiar with pain, The Abba Father who will not leave or forsake - He won't let go, give up or walk out - no matter how we feel.  So next time you sing the bridge of that song - whether it is upbeat or slower in style, whether in joy because He is the God who gives or in tears because He has taken away, wherever you are at; praise the One that won't leave you, that does not chop or change who is completely able! 
I know this song continues to be a challenge as well as a blessing to my heart.

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