Friday, March 16, 2012

The Privilege of Not Having

“... the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

~Job 1:21b (NRSV)

What we more readily see as the curse of going without is actually the formidable opportunity: to notice, continually, the privilege of not having—it’s something marking us as special. A personal ‘for instance’ is drinking. I gave up the right to drink years ago because I couldn’t partake in moderation. Now I have the privilege of not having. My life’s easier because of it.

This privilege of not having means I have none of the complications that come connected with that pastime—no more hangovers, no more expenditure on alcohol, no more inner conflicts because of drinking. I happily connect socially, having been freed.

But the privilege of not having is not just about beating bad habits, dependency or addiction. It’s the consummate knowledge that God has spoken into our lives; this thing, or these things, whatever they may be, are not for us.

When God speaks into our lives it is privilege.

Focusing On The Personal Sense Of Privilege

Each of us is privileged; the Lord leaves no servant untouched by the privilege of provision—by what is given and taken away.

When we see that the things we have and don’t have both are from God, we see the Divine appointment of us within our lives at this very time and place—that we belong, centred, within the Lord’s plan. This contributes to our acceptance of the status quo; how our lives are turning out.

This is always about owning the personal sense of privilege for the experiences we’ve been taken through in order to be brought to this point of the present—the making of us. Each servant of the Lord, indeed each and every person, is blessed with a distinctive journey where provision, and blessing to that accord, is unique.

Not one of us is treated the same as anyone else.

Privilege Is Only Felt Upon Acceptance

Some who read these words, perhaps many, may struggle accepting that privilege could be felt for not having. We might only feel a sense of privilege for not having when we’ve reached the land of acceptance—the destiny of the Lord’s will.

Felt sense of privilege for not having comes from the revelation that not all things are good for us, personally.

The place of having accepted a situation or situations means our reticence, envy and sense of lack for not having is turned on its head; we feel oppositely—in one moment we comprehend. And it only takes one experience of revelation to then understand and, therefore, accept.


Acceptance is part of the grand scheme of gospel revelation. At acceptance is the appreciation of the will of God and to no longer contend against it. At acceptance, in this case, for not having, we feel privileged. This, however difficult it is to describe, can only be felt.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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