He Gives and Takes Away

I can’t use any of my usual excuses for not updating my Project 365 this time.

Last week, while helping a friend with a birthday party for two dearly beloved little girls, someone broke into her car and stole my camera bag and with it, my camera, two lenses, wallet, cellphone, & etc. (That’s about $1,200 worth of camera equipment.)

I was shocked. I wept bitterly. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

Then I started with the If-Only’s. If only my battery hadn’t died, if only I’d gone home with a different friend, if only I’d gotten over my fear of destroying the cake I’d made and driven myself, if only I’d been more careful and less stupid, if only, if only, if only. A girl can drive herself crazy and completely miss out on the beauty of the sovereignty of God with the If-Only’s.

Then, I got scared. I realized what was actually in my wallet: multiple debit cards, driver’s license, checks for Romania, a copy of my bank account number, my social security card, as well as the keys to our house and Abraham’s car. What if they come back for more? What if they steal my identity? What if they hurt the children? What if something bad happens to the Pipers and it’s my fault? I was hysterical with fear. I slept with my trusty baseball bat that night. Come to think of it, the What-If’s might be worse than the If-Only’s.

I cried and prayed and asked others to pray. I sought the Lord and He answered me.

He reminded me of what He’s been teaching me lately about His goodness and His providence. That He is my father and He knows how to give good gifts to His children. More specifically, that this isn’t merely some heady, ethereal truth about the character of God to be acknowledged and affirmed, but that He is my father who gives good gifts to me. Not just to those around me– it’s easy to have faith for that. But specifically and personally for me. He directed to me ask in faith and trust in His faithfulness; to watch and pray. How did He do this? Primarily through His word (Ps 27:13-14, Eph 3:20-21, Ps 30, Lk 1), through the leading of the Holy Spirit, and through countless others who loved me enough to speak His word to me when I so needed to hear it.

Even if nothing else ever came of the situation, I was so thankful for the way He had used it to strengthen my faith.

But the story doesn’t end there.

My amazing, wonderful, all-powerful, God of the impossible provided money for a new (to me) camera. I hope to pick it up later this afternoon. It’s even nicer than the one that was stolen. And less expensive. Go figure. There’s even enough money left over to either begin saving to replace my favorite lens (the 85mm f/1.8) or put toward my upcoming mission trip to Romania.

I don’t have the words to properly express how thankful and awestruck I am by the goodness of my God, who cares about even the small, non-essential things; which seem so important to me in the moment and so insignificant in the light of eternity.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Eph 3:20-21 

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4 thoughts on “He Gives and Takes Away

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