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Loss but not Lost
This wasn't on the schedule to post just yet, but with recent events I feel it's really on my heart.
We all lose things.
So we all lose things in this life. That's just a fact. Nothing - outside the love and grace of God - is permanent. Everything has its expiration date, yet for some reason when we lose things, especially people, we find it hard to accept. Why is that?
Time - is it real? Do we need it?
I think this is directly tied to our need for time. Trying not to get too sciencey here, but I fully believe that time is a construct that God set in motion with the Creation because He knew that with our limited brain power mankind would need time to regulate and manage our lives, to the extent we are even able to do that. We need time to organize ourselves and understand our world. But God Himself stands outside of space and time; He is not limited or held to the constraints of a past, present, and future. His days do not flow in 24-hour cycles, 365 days a year. However, being the good Father that He is, He invented and set time into motion just for us. For the Bible says that after God created light and saw that it was good, "He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day" and the darkness he called "night". And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day" (Genesis 1:4b-5).
Do we know what our future holds?
Under this establishment of time, we are unable to see the outcomes of life, so we don't know what our future holds. Or do we? (Answer to come below.) We might not know if we're going to make the team or if we are going to get accepted into our top-pick college or if we are ever going to find love and get married because life has no guarantees. Well it has one, and I'm sorry to disappoint but it isn't fun. Jesus tells us that, "In this world you will have trouble" (John 16:33b). He didn't say you might or you could possibly, maybe, if things go a certain way. No, He point blank says we will have trouble as long as we are in this world. But that's not all He said. To view it in the full context, He says "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). There - that's a much better guarantee. We are not going to escape the trouble this world brings, but we, as followers of Christ, have a peace and a hope because He has "overcome the world". So back to our question, do we know what our future holds? If we are a Christ follower, the simple answer is YES! (Keep on reading for the explanation.)
Christ the Overcomer
When we lose the things we hold most dear in this life, we must remember first that Christ has overcome everything we could possibly face in this world, everything. He has overcome great loss and even overcome death. Second, we must remember that our perspective on these events is very limited; we cannot see what all will unfold in God's plan. In our own story we cannot foresee what is to come while here on earth, let alone see how it intertwines with the other billions of individuals on the planet. God's "thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways [His] ways" (Isaiah 55:8).
We have lost but are not lost.
So how should we respond to a deep loss? We should seek peace and comfort in knowing He has a divine plan that though we may not see the why, maybe not ever, we can trust is good. Don't feel lost, for remember you are a part of this "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). We should also be grateful for the time that we were given. Think of every moment as a gift from the Lord. Lastly, we are to realize that as children of God, even our life here is temporary. (And here it is...) We will have trouble in this world, but this world is not our forever home. One day we will go home to be with the Father, and there we will have a life free of all loss and all troubles. We know our future holds victory over death and all loss because Christ is victorious!
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