I think God is a Taker…

Our pastor posed a question the other day in his sermon that I’ve been chewing on. He said, “It comes down to this: Do you believe God is a Giver or a Taker?” 

How you pray, give, work, live, believe, dream, etc. will depend on your answer to that question.

Can I be honest for a bit… when I really sit and ask myself that question, I have seen God as a Taker. How in the world can I say that when my life CLEARLY shows that He is a Giver… that He is Faithful… and so Good? Because I am messed up. That’s why. My “Taker” mentality is not present in all situations… but when I believe and act on the thought that God is a Taker, it results in FEAR, crazy assumptions, and misunderstanding of who God is.

When I say I’m going to be honest… I’m going to be brutally honest. This is how my brain has worked at times and a fear I have been plagued with. BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN. Having biological children is a lot scarier for me that adopting. Strange, right? I guess I have more perceived control over adoption because I am great at filling out paperwork, getting tasks checked off my to-do list, and emailing social workers ‘to keep them on their toes’ until I’m blue in the face. But bio kids… pregnancy… FREAKS ME OUT! Why? Because I think that God is a Taker.

Here’s my crazy thoughts – I have done things in the past that have not honored God with my body… so He has probably taken away the ability for me to even get pregnant. IF I did get pregnant, I could possibly lose the baby because God tends to teach us things through tragedy and loss. So either I can’t get pregnant in the first place or I will have a miscarriage. It’s just going to be a disappointment…

WHAT?!?!

Or when someone asks me to pray for them because of a loved one getting sick or a horrible situation they are facing… I have these thoughts – well, I’ll pray for you/them/it, but God probably won’t give healing/restoration/answers/whatever because how you really KNOW Him is through suffering.

My theology is whack!

My thoughts are based on me-driven faith and not grace-given redemption. I have seen God as a record-keeper, manipulator, and someone to be feared (not honored… but threatened by). How wrong. Throughout God’s Word, He tries to teach us that He is a Giver and He loves us.

When Jesus is teaching on prayer, He says 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13). He’s not out to trick us or blackmail us. He is a GOOD DAD! When his children have a need and ask for His mercy… He isn’t going to give us something evil. 

He is a Good Daddy. I certainly wouldn’t give Eric a scorpion if he asked for food. But… I would do what’s best for him even if he pouts the whole way through it.

Believing God is a Giver is not the prosperity Gospel, name-it-claim-it, or having all your prayers answered how you wish. BUT believing God is a Taker means that the motives and plans of God are jaded and cruel.

It’s true… I may not be able to get pregnant (time will tell).

It’s true… God may not heal someone every time they are prayed for.

It’s true… You do come to truly KNOW God through suffering.

Yes… It’s possible that if I were to get pregnant… I could have a miscarriage.

Yes… It’s possible that the extremely tough situations are not always resolved painlessly.

I think those statements… and ones similar… scare us/me to our core. Those things are hard to swallow, hard to explain, and hard to trudge through. BUT those things do not make our God a Taker. I don’t claim to have the answers, because I surely don’t, but I’m not afraid to ask the questions. I’m not afraid to figure out what those things mean about my God, my faith, and who I am meant to be in Him. It’s not easy… actually it sucks. But I do know this and I hold onto this –

Through suffering, excitement, joy, waiting, miracles, new, old, good, bad, and everything else…

God is faithful.

God is good. He is a Good Daddy.

He is love. He is merciful.

He never changes.

His grace is new everyday.

He still performs miracles.

His goodness, joy, and delight comes when he can bless His children and do miracles in and through them. 

We have to keep praying, keep dreaming, and keep trusting… regardless of what our emotions tell us.

He is a Giver… even when we perceive Him as taking.

And because I can’t post without a picture… here’s a picture of me trying to pray this thing called life through. 10574271_10100839401883896_3136839404587942780_n

2 Comments

  1. The pain and anguish you express is natural, there are so many things that we will never understand about ourselves and about God because we have limits. We are also caught up in the reality of our lives which colours our judgement.

    When James says all good gifts and perfect presents come down from God we have to recognise that something about our lives today creates the biggest disconnection.

    The most wonderful experience we can have is that of nurturing another life somehow these little ones reach into the us and draw out our strength, kindness and capacity to love, we are created in Gods image therefore isn’t it clear that this capacity reflects Gods own approach to all creation. So the question is never Giver or Taker it has to be how do we draw upon his parental strength in our darkest hours, how do we engage with his capacity to show love when we are in pain?

    Remember the life of Job “a righteous man” and yet what he went through was not an expression of God’s disfavour but the impact of a godless society and unseen influence. Do we fully appreciate that every Christian is challenged by the world we live in and the unseen ruler of the world 1 John 5 :19.

    So what is God’s purpose for each of us? Bible study reveals a great hope for those currently living in fear, a strength beyond our own capacity to manage now that leads us to John 17 :3 everlasting life.

    Is God a giver or taker? Humanity rejected God and we live with the consequences therefore we are reaping what Adam and Eve have sown. Our hope for the future is the gift of God but we have to learn how to grasp it.

    Can I suggest a change in prayer it helped me through some very traumatic times – I prayed that God would send someone to help me personally get to know him, not from my circle of friends but someone who used the bible, knew gods personal name and could explain what hope we all have.

    Take care and keep praying remember when we draw close to God he draws close to us and as we seek him he will let himself be found by us. Don’t rely on others and don’t answer daft questions like is God a Giver or Taker they are counter-intuitive always leading to the negative

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