Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Lord Subtracts So That He Can Multiply


I am one of those to whom the Lord has given generously and also mercifully taken away from, many times in my life. There have been occasions at the beginning of my walk with Jesus when I have not understood why the Lord took away things from my life and I became upset with Him and questioned His judgment.

In July 0f 2002 I owned a large home in Northern Arizona that I had purchased as a fixer upper and worked very hard to refurbish for about 7 years. Suddenly without warning, a large wildfire swept through the canyon near our home and burned our house and 16 others to the ground. The houses in front and behind were not touched, while mine was completely destroyed and I lost everything that I owned in that fire.

I stood in the ash heap of what was once my treasured possessions and cried for a long time. Even in the midst of the pain of that moment, I could feel the Lord’s presence and understood that everything was going to be okay and that He was going to take care of me and my family. I prayed a simple prayer to the Lord and told Him “Lord You give and You take away, but Your name is still blessed…”

Within just one month the Lord miraculously restored to my family an even better home, completely furnished including food in the refrigerator. I received checks in the mail from friends that were totally unexpected, that enabled my family to start all over again with everything that we needed in our life.

Sometimes the Lord must subtract so that He can multiply.

January 28, 2006. My wife of 17 years developed a simple rash on her wrist and went with her sister to the doctor to find out what was causing the outbreak. I received a call a few hours later that my wife was in the hospital on life support and was not expected to make it through the night. The rash had gone septic and had poisoned her blood which caused all of her vital organs to shut down. She was gone in just a single day. I lost not only my wife but my dearest and most trusted friend. I really thought that my life was over as nothing had ever hurt as much as losing her and the days that followed.

Today I am married once again to a amazing and wonderful Christian woman who loves the Lord with all of her heart and is truly is the best friend and helpmate a man ever had. I never really imagined that the Lord could restore something that seemed irreplaceable. In fact those we love cannot ever be replaced, but the Lord can bring new life to us when we feel that there is no hope and that sorrow will be our never ending companion.

Sometimes the Lord must subtract so that He can multiply.

Paul wrote to the Hebrew Christians in chapter 5 that although Jesus was the Son of the Most High God, He learned obedience to the Father by the things that He suffered:

Hebrews 5:8 “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

If the Son of God who created the universe learned to trust the Father by experiencing the loss of so much, how much more shall we who live our lives on this earth, also need to learn to trust the Father by the subtractions of so many things throughout our lives?

Jesus walked the halls of heaven, enjoyed fellowship with His Father and the Spirit for eternity. Yet when He walked the earth as a man, Jesus surrendered many of His rights and privileges as God so that He could submit His life to the Father on our behalf, to become a servant and our perfect Savior.

Jesus learned that in order to multiply Gods blessings in life, there will be those blessed subtractions.

I hope and pray that in your own life that as you experience the loss of things you hold dear, that you understand that not a single loss or subtraction passes over you without there being a good end intended when all is said and done in your life.

Job, who endured the loss of everything in his own life, wrote these amazing words: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord…”. As a commentary on Jobs experience, James later said this of Job:

James 5:11 “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

The Lord has a “Good end intended” for the pain, suffering and losses of your life. Never think that He does not love you when you suffer. The truth is, that because He loves you so very much He does permit subtractions so that He can multiply blessings.

Rob Robinson

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