Loss is a painful part of life.
The loss of someone or something that is significant to you and me can send us into an emotional tailspin.
In my counseling ministry I meet with precious people who have lost a loved one in death, lost their health, lost their marriage, lost a child, lost a job, lost income, lost confidence, lost friends or lost self-respect. You name it, I have sat (the Kleenex close by) with people grieving and sorrowing over significant loss in their lives.
Loss shatters dreams, upsets the proverbial apple cart. Loss has a way of casting a depressive shadow over our future. Loss pulls on our heart strings like nothing else can. Loss is loss whether we have been preparing for it or it comes crashing suddenly into our life.
Loss must be dealt with.
The shortest, and one of the most powerful verses in the Bible, is John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” The setting: Jesus’s friend Lazarus has died. Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters, and friends of the family, are grieving at his grave. Jesus personally was overwhelmed with sadness and sorrow at the loss of His friend who He spent time with when visiting Bethany. He also felt deeply the emotional anguish of Mary and Martha.
In the midst of the painful, emotional loss, Jesus had a hopeful, comforting, encouraging word for Martha who questioned why Jesus had not come sooner.
“Jesus said to her, “Your brother shall rise again”. “Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” “Jesus said to her ”I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes I me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Through His own tears, the Lord comforted and consoled Martha and Mary that their brother’s loss was temporary. There was a resurrection. Jesus is the resurrection and life. Death would not, could not have the final word. Life eternal belongs to all who believe in Jesus who died on a Cross and rose from the dead on the third day!
Two simple words “Jesus wept”. Let them sink into your soul. They reveal to us that Jesus understood the impact of loss in life and had a hopeful solution for handling loss.
Lessons Learned About Loss
- Loss happens. Loss will come to our lives, sometime in some way, whether we like it or not. It is important for us to come to terms with the fact that that there is no loss free life.
- Loss levels us in life. Sorrow, sadness and suffering level the playing field because every earthling who lives on planet earth experiences loss. There is no escape from loss’s icy grip.
- Loss alters life. There is no such thing as business as usual when loss invades our space.
- Loss gets a grip on us. Grief, sorrow and sadness cloud our minds and hearts with dark clouds of disappointment, discouragement, depression and loneliness.
- Loss provokes questions about life. Why this? Why now? Why God? What am I supposed to do next? How do I go forward into the future? How can I shake the depression? Out questions don’t make us weird. Just normal humans.
- Grieve your loss. Grief, if I my put it this way, rips our guts out. Let go of grief’s painful grip on you. Give it over to the Lord. He understands your sorrow and sadness.
- Loss, though it feels like it, is not final. If loss is final, then we have no basis for hope for the future. Resurrection power from Jesus overrides hopeless emotions.
- Life leaves us changed, for better or worse. Status quo has been shaken. You and I choose to be better or bitter, hurt or healed, set free from or enslaved to grief.
- Loss is a unique opportunity to allow the Lord to minister His compassion, mercy, lovingkindness, comfort and strength to your heart.
- When you have lost someone or something that tears your heart apart, focus on what you have left, not just on what you lost.
- Look to, trust in Jesus, fix your spiritual eyes on Him and His resurrection power in a season of loss. Believe in Him. Receive His comfort, peace, strength and hope through the valley of loss.
You might be suffering through a time of sorrow and sadness at this time. I assure God knows and He cares. He hurts with you. He lost His only Son for a time. But because of His resurrection, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
Jesus asked Martha “Do you believe this/? Believe what? That Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He asks you and me the same thing today. Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Do you believe that He is the Son of God who laid down His life and took it up again to forgive our sins and give us the free gift of eternal life?
When loss strikes, through the tears, stir up your faith. Believe that resurrection is coming through Christ! You can count on it: God is the God of comfort who comforts us in our afflictions (see II Corinthians 1:3-5).
“Blessed the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
I Peter 1:3-4
A Word For Your Week:
Toss, cast, throw, release your loss to the One who loves you most.