This year has been a year of loss. In God’s economy, loss is so often gain if we are ready to receive it. Somewhere in the midst of loss there is grace that God will give and wisdom He wants to teach. When we are forced to look at death, we must reflect on the Lord of life.
My aunt went to heaven earlier this year after suffering greatly. One of my dearest friends and fellow workers was killed as he labored in the Middle East just days ago. Last night we attended the memorial service for the 48 year old wife of a dear evangelist friend. There were others – all great losses.
At the end of each year we naturally get more reflective. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, I have learned that those reflections must be brought to the only One who understands all. Every thought and emotion must be filtered through Scripture. Every circumstance looked at through the lens of eternity.
The human viewpoint and the divine are so very different. This tension between two perspectives has always existed. Paul wrote to believers in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Truth is the difference between hope and no hope.
So in these days full of so many questions my thoughts have returned to what I know to be true. Permit me to share a few of my reflections.
- God’s ways are beyond explanation…but so is His grace. Yes, the Lord’s “ways” are above comprehension and explanation (Isaiah 55:9). Yet His grace is greater than our grief (2 Corinthians 12:9). When heaviness is on us, God’s strength is under us. Waves of sorrow may come but waves of the Lord’s presence continue to carry us along.
- The Lord’s people show His love best in the hardest times. It is overwhelming to see brothers and sisters in Christ (often ones who do not even know one another) demonstrate the Father’s love. A simple kindness. A note. A hug. A tear. A prayer. There is nothing like being part of the family of God!
- Some things mean less and less and a few things mean more. Death is the great clarifier. This is no time for pettiness and senseless division. Give your energy to what matters most. Soon we will have our last opportunity to show kindness and express love.
- There is no substitute for family and for friends who are like family. It is easy to take those nearest to us for granted. In seasons of sorrow we realize again how deeply we need one another. Determine to enjoy those God gave you and to invest in relationships that last a lifetime.
- Time is short and eternity is near. Read Psalm 90 and you will find divinely inspired perspective. Soon all of us will finish our time on earth and meet God. Wherever we are going to do for Christ must be done now.
Everyone processes loss differently. It is easy to just be “numb” with grief. However, we must stay sensitive to the Lord when He speaks. What is God’s message to us?
“He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death” (Psalm 68:20). The God of life has much to say through death. In times like these, do not simply reflect on your emotion, reflect on God’s truth.