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The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes Away

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This morning I received an email from FamilyLife about the tornado that ripped through Arkansas yesterday. Dennis Rainey shared that Rob Tittle, a FamilyLife staff member died in the tornado that crushed parts of central Arkansas. Rob was helping his wife and their nine children under a stairwell when the tornado disintegrated their home. Rob was doing what he was apt to do – put his family first – when the tornado hit his home.  Two of his children, Tori, age 20 and Rebekah, age 14 were also killed in the storm. All that is left is a grim grey slab of concrete.

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Whitney Tittle, age 19, posted this on Facebook: “This is Whitney from a friend’s house. My mom, and six brothers/sisters are alright. We have lost three of our family . . . Dad, Tori and Rebekah; prayers would be appreciated. The house is gone, stripped from the foundation. The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

When I read that quote from Job 1:21 I burst into tears. How many of us could respond this way? Wouldn’t we instead be wailing in grief, cursing God?

Later this morning, I read The Blog by Melodiesther. In it, she chronicles her family’s struggle coming to terms with her five-year old son’s Type 1 Diabetes. Today she said something that I found very profound. She said, “Perspective is a big deal!!  Disease, healing, God’s sovereignty, suffering…these are all things we wrestle with daily.  It is important to have the right perspective about these issues.  Can you see the difference in these two sentences?

It is because of God that I’m forced to survive this painful life.  

 OR

   I can survive this painful life because of God.”

This is my take-away:

Many of us have been through the horrible experience of domestic abuse. No one should ever be abused by someone who they love and who is supposed to love them and protect them. I struggle daily with looking at the world through the negative lenses of someone who has been through trauma. Though my life today looks nothing like it did when I lived in my abusive marriage, I still tend to “catastrophize” everything and expect the worst for my future. Maybe many of you do the same. I forget all the ways God has blessed me with an amazing new husband and a beautiful family. Even if He hadn’t given me these blessings, He gave me Himself, and that’s enough.

I pray we will all count our blessings today, and be able to say with Whitney Tittle,

The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

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