Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gaining in the Midst of Loss

Last week we lost a dear friend. However, lost isn't the whole picture. We didn't lose our fond memories of him and the times that we shared. What we lost were any more opportunities to share his company and build more memories.
Death always takes us by surprise doesn't it? We don't expect it. In truth we weren't wired to. But things happen. Like humanity taking those things into their own hands and mucking everything up.
So what gain can there be in this loss? Quite a bit, actually.
Grief causes you to stop and reminisce and when you do you realize some things that you took for granted, such as, this friend always made you smile! That is a true gift. Then there is the realization of just how dear he was to you.
Listening to others speak of him a thought surfaced, there was so much more to him than I ever knew! So there is a lesson to take to heart; go a little deeper in your relationships. Take a closer look, listen more attentively; be a learner.
We should all be students of life for life. People should be one of the major subjects. Get to know them better. There can be no loss in that.
The greatest gain of all has been the comfort of my God. He is the God of all comfort and He has been proving that true in and to this heart. Any other source of comfort is temporary, but He is constant. He promises to never leave nor forsake His own. I am His own.
In the past week our family was faced with a crisis of sorts, apart from our friend's death. Something happened that was very unexpected and it sent our heads and hearts a spinnin'. We experienced a loss. A loss of hope. Our expectations were dashed. For the moment. The proverbial curve ball coming from left field arrived. It was not only a curve ball, but a FAST curve ball. No time to respond, certainly no time to change its course.
I had to get moving, but as I traveled to our son in need, I prayed. Not prayed as in some formal entreaty. No, my Papa and I had an intimate conversation. I told Him of my confusion and my fears and my sense of helplessness. Then He told me that He is able to handle all of it. He is still and always will be in control. There is purpose in everything. This is of great comfort to me.
Such peace. I can rest in Him in the midst of whatever life throws my way! What joy!
What else could I desire or need? Nothing. Yet, there is more.
This unexpected turn of events has given us the opportunity to rebuild relationships. Trust is being restored where it had been lost. And we are having fun along the way!
Today the LORD spoke to me through Psalm 37. What did I hear? He orders a person's steps and He delights in it. He holds the hand of those who look to Him and are in right relationship with Him and will not forsake them. Ah, another reminder that He does not forsake His own. I and my treasured child are His own.
The gain: eternal truth that carries one through any loss victoriously!

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