We all want God to fix our problems and take away our suffering. But sometimes what God takes out of our lives is a person, material possession, or activity that we loved very much. But thanks to our shepherd, we will lack nothing.
“But I loved my great-grandmother, why did she die”, cried my daughter. She was 95 years old and had lived a very good life. It was time for her to go and join her Saviour. “But I loved her”, replied my daughter. The love we have for a person is not enough to keep them alive. That is also the feeling of many widowed people. Why did their life partner, a loved one, have to leave when they were so loved by their family? He was a good father, she was a loving mother. Why?
There are not always reasons to explain the departure of a loved one. Death is as much a part of our existence as life. We are not trying to find out “why” a child came into the world. Birth and death are two obligatory passages in life. Ecclesiastes understood this well. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a NKJV). And the same principle applies to certain relationships. We liked our job very much, but the company closed. We really liked doing sports with a friend, but they moved away. This family grocery store that saw us grow up will be demolished for the construction of new housing.
Sometimes God has had no say in the transformation of our landscape, other times it is He who allows good things to leave our lives. Jesus did a lot of good for the people living in that time, but it was still God’s will that His son be crucified for us. We can be happy in service to our church, but God asks us to stop this activity to take on new challenges. It is the principle of pruning that Christ spoke of in his teachings. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2 NKJV). God removes what is bad from our life, but even what is good, God can cut a part of it so that our life is even more useful for His work.
Some Christians fail to enter into their calling, into God’s plan for their life, because they are too busy doing good things around them. They help their parents, volunteer in their community, they serve in all the ministries at their church. But they don’t have time to take care of themselves. They are too busy doing SOME good things that they don’t have time to do THE good things God has planned for them (Luke 10:40-42). That is also the reason why some single people fail to find a life partner: they do a lot of good things, but they are in the wrong place. You have to learn to listen to the voice of God and sometimes to give up good things to walk in the will of God.
Sometimes we have to fight spiritually to not lose a blessing from God, but at other times we must not be afraid to let go of a source of joy to move forward in His perfect plan. Even if there are still good grasses in the meadow, our shepherd may want to lead us to a better pasture. And if we are willing to follow Him, even when it means sacrificing the object of our affection, we know we will never want (Psalm 23).