Took them for Granted
This one may be the most hurtful. When I was in high school, I dated a beautiful girl and took her for granted. I would just show up on Friday nights to take her out on a date with my friends. She never quite knew what time I’d show up. I just knew she’d be there…until one Friday night. I came to her home and realized that her family had moved. I found a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. I had waited a whole week to call her…but it was one day too many. God may have removed her from my life because I took her for granted. I didn’t deserve her. God knew I wasn’t good for her then, still living as a unsaved young man.
To Be With Him
Years ago, a young pastor and his wife tragically lost their young child by a freak accident at home. I don’t think anyone of us can understand what that must feel like. There may be some who have been through such a tragic loss, but when a young child dies, it’s even harder to accept because they had their whole life in front of them. What about all of the missed Christmas’, birthday parties, bubble baths, and high school proms? This might be the most difficult thing for anyone to accept, so why does God remove someone so precious from our lives? I don’t know. Maybe it’s so that they can be with Him…and we too will be with Him…and them, someday! That’s the hope believers have.
When God removes someone from our lives, maybe it’s because He knows that they’re toxic for us. God knows who will be a bad influence and knows what trouble this might bring, so God, in His wisdom, removes someone that we might not even realize is dragging us down…maybe into sinful practices. If you knew something was wrong with your car, you’d probably take it into a mechanic and have them look it over, so God sometimes looks over our situation and knows that we are sometimes better off without someone, so God simply removes them from our life. Remember in the first paragraph? God removed me from my old girlfriend’s life because I was toxic to her and also took her for granted.
God may remove someone from your life in order to bring someone else in. That’s right! Sometimes, people can dominate a relationship. They might be people who have a lot of needs, and a few people I have counseled have told me that they are being used, and they finally had enough. They couldn’t continue the relationship because it was always a one-way street, so when that person leaves, pray to God for someone that will help you grow as a person and in the faith.
Addition by Subtraction
Not long ago, one of our church members left our congregation. This person had been criticizing almost everyone you could think of. I got calls from him at various times about “such and such is doing this or that,” but I’d usually find out later he was assuming the wrong thing, and assuming things can be very thin ice to walk on. If we guess wrong, then we’ve believed the worst in that person, so I believe God removes certain members who are grumbling because it threatens to infect the whole church, so occasionally, the church adds members by subtraction. When the “constant grumbler” finally left, a couple of new people showed up, and older members starting coming back; that’s addition by subtraction. I truly believe God removed that person in the best interests of the church.
Bad Company Corrupts
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1st Cor 15:33). Rather than do those things we used to do in running with the world, we are commanded to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11). If we “expose them” they are not going to like that, and they will leave you as fast as they can, but that’s okay, so “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness” (2nd Cor 6:14)? The answer is nothing, so if a person professing faith in Christ is living in sin, expose them. That may cause them to be removed from your life, which is certainly for your own good.
He Knows the Future
God can see down the corridors of time, but more accurately, God has already been to the end and the beginning ,and knows every single thing that’s going to happen in your life, so when we lose a friend or even a spouse from our life, we have to trust the sovereignty of God. God will take every single second of our lives and use it for good, even if it’s really, really bad at the time (Rom 8:28). For example, God would know that in about 4 years, you’ll get your degree, but if your best friend is still around for those 4 years, they might try to talk you out of finishing college and say it’s just a big waste of time and money….and you might believe them. Losing a special friend can really crush us, but grapes that are never crushed can never make the wine; wheat that’s not ground can never make the bread. God knows that our pain will be our ultimate gain. I trust Him…more than a million best friends.
The Bible tells us that there is “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Prov 17:17), and “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” or sister (Prov 18:24b). Do you have that kind of friend? If not, find one, and to find a friend, just be a friend, because friends become more valuable with every passing day.