Good Gifts and Tight Fists


It has been a really great year, but it has been not so good of a week, and it is only Tuesday.

Yesterday, I rear ended another car on my way home from work, less than a mile from my apartment. Then today I woke up at 2 in the morning with a stomach bug that’s slowly moving through my system.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m feeling exceptionally sorry for myself.

I know, I know, it’s not that big of a deal. I’m not hurt, and neither was anyone else. Everyone was gracious, everyone had insurance, the car still drives and will almost certainly be able to be fixed, and stomach bugs usually only last about 24 hours.

But the truth is, I’m angry and hurt that God would pile on like this. Don’t you see that it was already a really bad day? Couldn’t we space out the minor tragedies a little bit? Why are you taking away all the good things?

I’m tempted to worship at the altar of the Good Gifts from God instead of at the feet of Jesus.

And I only ever notice it when those Good Gifts get threatened.

I love my little orange Prius. I love that it gets me where I need to go, I love its color and gas mileage and dependability, and I trust it.

Today, I hear a still, small voice saying, “But do you trust me?”

I love being healthy. I love staying busy and exercising and having energy and getting enough sleep at night. I trust in my above-average immune system after 4 years of elementary school teaching. I trust that my body will safely and successfully carry me through all of the necessary tasks each day, but today that same voice asks, “Will you trust me?”

I do not pretend to know the purposes of God. But in the ripping away, I find myself blindly grabbing for something to hold onto and trust in and find that I have been held all along not by my own might but by something much larger than I.

I am resting poorly in the soft embrace of my Lord today. I ache for the familiar grips of easy days and small comforts, and yet perhaps there is a freedom in the letting go.

He gives us such good gifts, friends. But he himself is so much more trustworthy, so much more beautiful, than the small shadows of goodness we see here.

Maybe my desperate prayers that he would help my unbelief are going to make me more uncomfortable than I would ever have imagined or desired.

And may the prayer continue until all I have is all I need: Christ.

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