Ever misplaced something and feared it was lost? When you found it remember the relief you felt once it was found? At times things reappear almost magically, even miraculously.
Why is that we struggle so much when we lose things? You lose a favorite pen, or a worn familiar piece of clothing, an unread book that you want to read now… The list could go on and on.
Some of our most precious things stay lost and never found.
I still remember one fateful morning standing in line at the crowded check-in counter in downtown Sao Paulo. I was anxious to catch a flight back to NE Brasil. The crowd pressed from all sides grappling to get to the check-in counter. As the line inched forward to the ticket agent my queasiness increased. Something had me on high alert. I knew better, but when I finally reached the ticket counter I turned my back on my luggage cart to talk to the agent. It was only a minute, but long enough for disaster to strike. When I looked back my worst fears were realized. My briefcase was gone. I scanned the crowd and saw no one running away or looking remotely suspicious. But, it was gone. Forever. Inside the case were a few choice books, 20 new checks, and three gold-lined pens, They were a gift from my father-in-law. The loss struck my heart like the sting of an angry hornet.
Just last month my wife and her siblings faced an even greater loss. First, their ailing 96-year-old father passed away. Their mother took a bad fall the day before the service at the cemetery and within 20 days she too was gone. She gave way to her pain and joined her husband in eternity.
Life is full of losses both big and small.
It seems to be our lot as we journey through life. I can remember a few of mine. – the loss of my innocence at the hands of three big bullies; the loss of physical balance due to weak ankles that provoked innumerous bruisings and falls; the loss of my first friend when her parents packed up and moved to California; the loss of my heart to a childhood sweetheart; the loss of three front teeth after nearly two years of orthodontal work; the loss of a solid salary forcing me to settle for a minimum salary job as stock boy; the loss of ministry connection and roles caused by two legalistic colleagues; the loss of family intimacy as children turned into adults; the loss of close friendships when our overseas career ended... Yes, life is full of losses. I’ll bet you have quite a list of your own.
What do we do about losses?
They say that “when life throws you a lemon, you should make lemonade.”
But does that work with losses as well?
They were a close-knit circle of devoted women and closely tied to them was a band of men. Together they suffered immeasurable loss. Their collective loss left them confused, distressed, in borderline panic and emotionally paralyzed. After dangling over an abyss of inner darkness three of the women stood up. Against logic, they elected to revisit the site of their loss. Hurriedly they dressed, collected a few choice perfumes and went to the site of their pain. A gravesite. Once there, they found that the grave had been violated. The massive stone rolled in front of the tomb now was gone. Rolled aside. Peeking in they stared in unbelief. The grave was empty. Now, even faster than their trip to the graveyard, they rushed to report their findings back to the band of worried, fearful men. Could His promises now have come true? The men’s response was utter unbelief and a shrugging of shoulders. The good news to them made no sense, it was nonsense.
Fact is, their best friend, their teacher, their spiritual leader was in fact no longer dead, but alive. It changed their entire perspective on loss and their future. Moving forward was now possible. In fact, they could now step firmly in the light of that fact. Their dearest friend was indeed alive.
No doubt there will still be many losses in life. But, all of life’s losses pale in light of this one profound truth. All of our losses are mere shadows in comparison to this one find. He is risen! Yes, He is risen indeed!
You and I can now look loss square in the face because He has already dealt with our deepest losses. Our past, present, and future are bound to His being found alive.
I hope you’ve anchored your life to this truth. He is the reason we can face any and all losses.
Hey, has anyone seen my favorite pen?
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