What have you lost?
“Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!” Luke 15:9 (NKJV).
What have you lost? I know that, throughout the pandemic, alone, a lot of people have lost their facemasks!
Jesus speaks about people losing a sheep or a coin (Luke 15). Actually, God even cares about the little things that we might lose, even the hair on our heads! (Luke 12:7).
Have you lost something more than that? Have you lost your job, your marriage, your health, a loved one, your hope?
Jerry Sittser writes: “Catastrophic loss will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. We should not allow the loss to make us less, grinding our souls down. Loss can also make us more. Sorrow can take up permanent residence in our soul and enlarge it. One learns the pain of others by suffering one’s own pain. However painful, sorrow is good for the soul. Our soul can grow larger through suffering.”
Did you see that? Losing something can be good for us. We learn to identify with another’s pain and our soul can grow larger through suffering.
Too often we focus on all the good things of becoming a Christian, our salvation, our health our answers to prayer and this can make us think we are rather “special” and that we are in a “special” relationship with God. When we do that, we are watering down our own sinfulness. We stop looking at our need for repentance and we ultimately get disillusioned about God.
Loss may even be of your own doing. Was your loss of health because you chose to smoke or drink too long? Have your relationships broken down because of your own brokenness and psychological scars? Did you lose all your savings because you gambled? Loss, grief and remorse, when viewed with a godly mindset, can produce a reliance on God.
Paul writes: “… godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (2 Cor. 7:8–10). The loss of things in this life does not destroy our future or our joy for, when we repent, we remain full of hope.
It’s interesting that Paul made that statement as he was one person who could’ve lived with profound regret all his life. Paul persecuted and killed so many Christians that he called himself the chief of sinners. Imagine living with that guilt on your conscience!
At the end of his life Paul is not remorseful but rather, gives us the antidote for loss, grief and remorse:
“I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward” (Phil. 3:13-14 AMPC).
Put all your energies into this life with full confidence that the day is coming when you will find eternal happiness in the presence of God.
Onward and upward. No looking back. Press on to what lies ahead.