What is Loss. My computer’s dictionary says loss is the fact or process of losing something or someone. Something or someone! The loss of something is so superficial. What are we loosing really? Hard matter. Lifeless matter. A phone, a ring, a piece of paper, a body? No. Loss is really a void. The emptiness of space. It’s the empty left after the item is gone, that’s loss.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5” (ESV)
We experience loss and in that, that we may turn around and help others who experience loss, and yet I think…The world should stop! That’s what my heart screams. A wife lose’s a husband, a mother/father loses a child, a child loses a parent. I just want to jump out of my car and yell at the vehicles around me… “STOP! GET OUT! SHOW RESPECT! Don’t you know what just happened, someone has loss…real loss..an emptiness that can never be filled again. AND YOUR ALL OBLIVIOUS…UNCARING!” It all plays out so surreally in my head. The world has to stop, it must stop. Everything freezes…just like the heart of the person with loss. And then it doesn’t…nothing does…everything keeps spinning faster and faster. No one knows, no one understands. Nothing can compare to the emptiness…the loss…and you get dizzy, everything just keeps moving when you just want everything to freeze so you can catch your breath.
“…the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21 (KJV)
That verse rolls through my mind. Job was given everything, and from Job everything was taken away. How do you cope? EVERYTHING. Should we find comfort if the fact that only one thing was taken away, and so much else is left? It doesn’t seem that my heart can fathom the feeling. I do not know true loss. But I know what the possibility of loss feels like, but my loss had hope attached. Hope that everything was fine and in a few days I would find out that the hole beginning to devour my heart would close. And, in the end, my hope won out and everything returned to normal. But it doesn’t always happen that way. Some times that hole get’s bigger and the pit of grief get’s deeper and hope fades away and reality takes it’s place.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. …” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
Grace…hope is the beginning of faith….grace is all sufficient. Sufficient means enough; adequate. It’s all we should need. Even in our darkest moment, grace steps up….grace builds a web over the hole, it sticks together the hurt and our Lord. Grace takes the place of hope in that moment of darkness and grief.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:17-20 (ESV)
How comforting it is to know that God is near to that hurt. The emptiness of the loss brings God near….wow! We all desire to be near God, but are we truly willing to give something up, something that cuts us deeper than a blade, to have him close. No one choose to have loss, but we all choose to have God near. It’s why we have chosen the Christian faith. Right? My Husband, my children…who is first, who do I wish to have near? I speak from being close to someone who lost just that much…my heart tells me that even though they would give untold riches to spend one more moment with their loved, they would never want them ripped out of the hands of Jesus. My beloved, my lovey, my lovely…they don’t belong to me…they never have. I can not greave for something I have not lost…and will never lose….something that has never truly belonged to me; I’m just blessed enough to do life with them. Faith is believing without seeing…I may not see them one day, but I will never lose them. I can not grieve for the person who is gone knowing they are in the hand of Jesus. I grieve for those left behind. I would grieve for myself….that is where grief hits harder than a 90mph curve ball. Selfish, how am I going to manage, what about me grief. I do not grieve like the world. I have hope and grace.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” Thessalonians 4:13-14
Grief is, by definition of my computer thesaurus: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair; mourning, mournfulness, bereavement, lamentation. WOW. So many words make up grief. A complicated array of emotions all bottled into one moment. No wonder is consumes us when we have loss. And yet, Paul tells the church in Thessalonians to have hope because Jesus has already broken the chains of death and those who have died before us we will see again.
A military family would understand this objective view the best. Your loved one, deploys, which for non-military members means that the person is gone for an extended period of time and is normally across oceans. It can be as short as one month, or as long as a year. Your communication is normally limited, you may get to talk with them once a week depending on the communication network where they are. You say “see you later” and you try not to cry, you’ll have what seems like “everything” goes wrong moments; you’ll wish you could call them, though you can’t; you pray constantly that you’ll see them again. You know a taste of loss…they are gone, you can’t see or talk with them, your just waiting…hoping you’ll see them, hear them, touch them again. You function day to day without them, working out tricks and techniques that will help you get through the time away from them. Then it happens…the day they come home! You feel like your world just got pieced back together. There is an overwhelming emotionally wall that’s comes suddenly down the moment you lay eyes on them. You cry or you laugh, you huge and you kiss. The separation is over and your together again.
Death is temporary – life everlasting. We grieve separation, but because of Christ, it is only for a little while. We wait and function knowing that one day we will be together again….there is grace for the separation and hope for the return. Praise God that we believe!! We Believe in Jesus, life everlasting. We do not grieve like the world…we just have to be patient through the separation and thankfully we have grace for that.
“Be Strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
*Penned October 9th, 2014