A Closer Walk: Looking At Loss Realistically

I am trying to become more pragmatic about loss; trying to see it more realistically.

In our part of the world loss is treated with shock-n-awe headlines—fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, all banner headline-makers.

But are we seeing loss realistically? And, more importantly, are we seeing it Biblically?

I am beginning to wonder.

Learning to let go of material things is painful.

As a Christian I am taught that, while I live in this world, I don’t belong here. It is not my home.

So, if this is not my home, if I am only “passing through” as the old song says… then why do I cling so tightly to the things that can never go with me when I leave?

I mean, let’s face it, we do cling tightly. Don’t we?

Why else be so devastated when we come face-to-face with loss?

And my losses do devastate me. I mean, if I’m honest.

Once upon a time, losing the most menial things could send me into a petulant tizzy. But I am learning that loss is a big part of my journey. Letting go, is an essential skill to traveling light.

In our western culture, we are encouraged to “travel heavy.” Stuff, and more stuff, advertisers cry to us is our passport to true happiness, prestige, and well-being. But, is it? I don’t know about you, but I am finding that a large volume of “stuff,” gets to be a heavier and heavier burden. In truth, the amount of things that I actually need, is relatively small.

Maybe it’s because I am getting older, and I am realizing that I am closer now to my finish line, than the starting line. When I step back and take a good look, and think about what I claim to believe, I begin to wonder if my losses are not just a natural part of this journey I’m on. Perhaps, to get me more heaven-focused, by necessity, I need to carry things here a bit more loosely.

The idea of realistically accepting tragedy and loss is uncomfortable to me.

And, perhaps, that is precisely the point.

I will share with you that years ago I was “homeless” for a short time—twice.

It was unthinkable at first. I was stunned that God would let such a thing happen to me. I was angry and frightened. (Who wouldn’t be?) But shall I tell you? Something strange happened through those dark experiences.

With all my “stuff” in storage, and finding myself standing on a sidewalk with no money and one little knapsack, and wondering where I was going to go? I learned firsthand what Paul meant when he wrote,” …I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.” [Phil. 4:11, 12]

I also have learned that God is faithful, especially in calamity. He kept me safe. He kept me fed. He kept a roof over my head. Though I found myself an unwelcome guest, sleeping on someone’s floor, more than once.

(My losses made others uncomfortable, too.)

Yet, I discovered that all I really NEEDED each day was in that tiny little knapsack.

And, you know what?

Though sometimes uncomfortable it was liberating to learn how little is needed to really get by. I was forced to let go and trust God absolutely and so my emotions about my STUFF changed.

“Letting go” produced a kind of freedom and made me face a surprising and unexpected revelation: ALL CHRISTIANS ARE “HOMELESS!”

Loss is an integral part of this world, but for us, it’s only temporary because you see… we’re not home yet.

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LET IT GO!

Do not fear the clouds as though I had deserted you and left you to the mercy of this storm.

Who makes the clouds? Who creates the storm?

(Is it not I, your Father?)

Then, I say to you, “Fear not.”

I told you, you would go through floods, yes? (Isa. 43:1-4)

(Well, then?)

But, I say again, “…you will not drown.”

I come in these clouds as easily as in the days of blue skies and soft green meadows.

My child, listen… that thunder and lightening in your circumstances is the rumbling wheels of My chariots. Your deliverance is in those chariots! Do not fear them.

That fierce howling wind?

It belongs to Me. It does My bidding!

Storms are for your training child. You grow a little stronger from each one you weather.

Focus on Me. Focus on My faithfulness.

I AM sending into your life everything you need to grow you up and make you skillful for every task your destiny requires.

When your skies grow dark, and your enemy tempts you to doubt and unbelief, remember I created you! I have chosen you! Every storm is in My hand and does My bidding. If it washes out a part of your life, let it go!

I AM rebuilding you according to My plans and My specifications.

“The clouds are his chariots. He rides upon the wings of the wind.”  Psalm 104:3