God replaces what He takes away

A few weeks ago, we lost my husband’s Android phone in a cab and never got it back. Losing a phone is such a hassle. We had to report the stolen sim card, rebuild our contacts from scratch, and adjust our budget to buy a replacement. In spite of it all, we held on to this simple truth we’ve proven many times over in our lives: When God takes something away, He only wants to make room for something else.  

And so, two Saturdays ago, God blessed us with a new phone.

Losing the old phone was not as difficult to accept as losing the memories that were stored in itphotos and videos from New York, long-distance text messages sent from two years ago. It was the same phone that got us through our long-distance relationship, just like the laptops that were stolen 5 months ago.

Reflecting on these things, it strikes me and my husband how God seems to be stripping us off things we used to hold on to in the past, and giving us clean slates to paint new memories with. Losing our gadgets is a mere representation of that, but I believe that mostly, God is doing some general cleaning inside of us.

Three things I learned about losing things:
(And by “things” I mean material possessions, dreams, jobs, people we lovestuff that are tangible and intangible.)

When God takes something away, He replaces it with the best

And no, it doesn’t always mean a better phone, or a better job. It doesn’t always mean more. When we lost our laptops, it took us about 2 months before we were able to buy a new one. Two laptops lost, and God replaced it with one new laptop, not three. But what we gained from that experience is more than just material gratification. In exchange for what was stolen from us, God gave us joy, and contentment, and more quality time together. ;)

When I lost my home-based job, God didn’t replace it with a higher-paying job or a job with less working hours. Instead, He gave me job security, health insurance for me and my husband, and the opportunity to work with people again. God replaces good things in our lives with the best, and in ways we don’t expect.

When God takes something away, it’s most likely not good for us

We sometimes hold on to stuff that are not doing us good, people that are holding us back, dreams that are taking us away from our true calling. Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re carrying too many excess baggage, preventing us from running light. So God takes them away even if we get hurt in the process, and when He does, He’s actually releasing us from more pain.

And mind you, God is more stubborn than we can ever be. So rather than playing tug of war with God, or rather than being angry at Him, just let go. Open your palm and release from your kung-fu tight grip what He’s clearly taking away from you. Trust that He knows what’s best.

When God takes something away, sometimes we don’t have to know why

One thing my husband and I learned over the past year is how everything is under God’s prerogative. He gives and takes away, He alters schedules and plans, He accomplishes His will whatever it takeseven if it requires parting oceans and sending His own Son to die. He sees things from a bigger perspective, and when things do not make sense to us, to Him, everything is happeningaccording to plan.

When God took my Dad home, He didn’t replace him with someone elsethere’s just no way my Dad could ever be replaced in my life. There are losses that are better left unexplained, lest we start questioning God’s goodness. The key to acceptance is believing in your heart that God knows what He’s doing and that He means well. He is sovereign above all things, and He will have His way when He pleases and for His glory. Maybe God will reveal answers in this lifetime, maybe not. It doesn’t matter.

We don’t always have to know why. What matters is, He does.

  • http://toneddownandvintage.wordpress.com/ Shadz

    I want a faith like yours. :(
    Reflecting on this:
    God takes them away even if we get hurt in the process, and when He does, He’s actually releasing us from more pain…

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Just keep rising up from every fall Shadz, that’s the faith I’ve grown to have. I’m not much of a role model too, I fail many times, but I make it a point to keep trying. ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amanda-Altamirano/100003123101184 Amanda Altamirano

      This is crap. And this isn’t real faith.

  • Michelle Amoroso

    This is such an inspiring post. Thanks, Riz! I really needed this! :)

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Happy to have inspired you in a way, thanks M! :)

  • Alaina Villarojo

    Hi Riz! I love reading your posts. Very inspiring. :) Nega ako lage but I always feel good after reading your blog.:)

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Alaina! I almost didn’t recognize you because of the new name. :) Blogging–better than writing thesis! :) Ako rin nega lagi, but I’m learning to be more positive. Nice to see you here!

  • http://www.singlebrownmom.blogspot.com/ Karla

    I think it was God’s way of telling you that the best memories are what we store in our hearts and minds, and not what’s on our hard drives, but yes, I do understand the grief of losing those pictures/content/giga memories accumulated over the memories (I’ve gone through that a lot of times too–drove me crazy). Go and make new memories, Riz and David! Thanks for this wonderful post (amazing how you still manage to blog while wearing multiple hats, huh!).

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Very true. Thanks, K!

      Blogging is therapeutic for me. Sometimes, I feel like, the more I’m stressed out, the more I blog! :)

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  • Jeremiah Cortez

    Nice entry Riz. Keep inspiring people. :)

  • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

    Hello Kristin, the thing is, even if you don’t “share with God” or you don’t tell Him about this new guy or this or that, He already knows about them! He is omniscient and omnipresent after all. :) I don’t know what you’re going through or what you’ve been through in the past, but I do understand that having one failed relationship after another can be really heartbreaking and tiring. Been there, trust me! But through it all, I never once questioned God or doubted His goodness. When a relationship fails, or when a suitor backs out, it’s not because God is being unfair, it’s mostly just that the guy or the relationship is not meant to be.

    Besides, if he gives up, leaves, or backs out on you.. then you shouldn’t settle! You deserve to be fought for! :)

    I guess I can only assure you that once God gives you the right person, then you’ll know that “it’s actually obtainable.” :)

  • brendz

    nice msg….

  • Mav

    I was searching on God and chasing dreams to sorta inspire me and calm me. When I came across your posting.
    God bless you, you have reminded me of God’s works in my life. As Im going thru a little difficult moment in my life.

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Hi Mav, Whatever you’re going through, I believe that God is doing something beyond anything you ever hoped for or imagined. :) Thanks for dropping by. Go bless you too!

  • Madz Madaje

    thank you for sharing this.. it’s my first time to visit your blog, kakahanap ko ng calligraphy, napunta ako dito… wala talagang accident kay Lord.. i’m in the middle of finding what i really want to do in life and steps i must take.. lost lang =( so i am really blessed to read this and be reminded how good our God is all the time.. God bless you sis and your family!

  • Ashley Maynard

    Great post! This is just the topic that I was researching and stubled upon this wonderful post! Do you know of any scripture that supports this? I’m looking for an encouraging word for a friend. Thanks!

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Hi Ashley, it says in Joel 2:25 “And I will restore the years that locusts have eaten” A symbol of God’s power to restore and replace even years that were lost. :) And of course there’s Isaiah 55:8-9, a favorite. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

      Thanks for dropping this blog :)

  • Chrissy Caballero

    I really your posts Riz :) I’m so glad I met you in Write on, Mom :)

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Hi Chrissy! Glad to have met you too! See you on Saturday! :)

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  • Charlynn Dick

    this is something that i needed to read today. my husband and i lost our first baby 12-30-13, i was 22 weeks and 3 days along when he came, he lived for 1 hour and 15 min, i was blessed with that amount of time with my son. i don’t know why God chose to take my baby boy away from us but he has a plan for us and in time we will know why Locklynn was taken to heaven so soon.

    • http://www.chasingdreams.net Riz

      Hi Charlynn, There’s no easy way to respond to your comment, I know nothing anyone could ever say would lessen the pain. I’m glad to hear you’re holding on to the promise that God has a plan for you, and a purpose for Locklynn’s short life. Sending a quick prayer (and cyber hugs) your way. God bless!

  • Steven L Scott

    We actually don’t deserve what we have today… If it wasn’t for Noah finding grace from God, We all wouldn’t be here today… I hope everything gets better for you soon bro…

  • Camille Aguila

    I really love going around your blog. I’ve been reading a lot now and somehow, this post reminds me of the sovereign power of God and how every circumstance in our lives is crafted carefully to fulfill his purpose. :D