Adding Not Taking

“When it comes to pain, God isn’t often in the business of taking it away. Instead, he adds to it. He is more of a giver than a taker. He doesn’t take away my darkness, he adds light. He doesn’t spare me of thirst, he brings water. He doesn’t cure my loneliness, he comes near. So why do we believe that when we are in pain, it must mean God is far?” (Jane Marcewski, 1990-2022).

I admit I don’t know much about Jane, known professionally as Nightbirde. I know she was on America’s Got Talent at one point and even got the golden buzzer from Simon Cowell. I know that she recently passed away after battling breast cancer on and off for a number of years. I know that her legacy will be her music and her faith.

I absolutely know that what she said is true. Pain isn’t so much God taking away as it is God adding. Often, pain makes us aware of and able to listen to God’s voice in a way that we wouldn’t be able to under normal circumstances. Suffering makes us more dependent on God than good health.

I always remember an old poem that speaks to how God is able to weave suffering into the fabric of our lives in such a way that it enriches our existence. Here’s the poem:

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him” (Grant Colfax Tullar)

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