February 09, 2012
As young children, one thing we learn quickly is the reality of loss. Missing a meal, seeing others whose needs do get met, losing a mother’s attention to a newborn sibling, losing a beloved toy, losing at games, loss through divorce or job relocation. Loss of innocence through abuse or extreme life circumstances.
Life is filled with many kinds of losses. But despite the cause, one thing is certain: all loss hurts, regardless of its size. We recover quickly from some losses … but others take months or even years to absorb and process. Certain losses are temporary while others are permanent.
In today’s economic environment in which businesses are closing and downsizing, many are facing the loss of their jobs. This kind of loss can be devastating to anyone, but especially to the breadwinner of a family. Even if it is a second job, it may represent a threat to survival, credibility, and stability for our spouse or kids.
Job loss can produce many emotions, but fear is usually at the root of any uncomfortable response. Will I lose my home? My child is leaving for college this fall-will I have to break the news that it will be impossible? We have built up credit card debt trying to keep our heads above water … what now? Who will respect me? Will our marriage survive this pressure?
These and many other concerns are very real and can seem extremely threatening. If we keep our eyes on the waves of hardship, we will sink into despair and hopelessness. This is a time when it is difficult … but imperative … to focus on Jesus, not on the problems. This is a time to remember that He, not our job, is our source of value, peace, security, comfort, redemption, and abundance.
We may go through some real challenges. We may have to tighten our belts and make some sacrifices. These struggles are not easy, but with Jesus we have hope and a powerful peace. Our job may be gone and the economy may be falling apart, but God has not changed. Step back from the hardship and see your life from God’s perspective. It is because of his mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed.
Today, dig into the areas where you struggle or have experienced some recent hardship. What is the fear at the bottom of the issue? Infuse Jesus’ teachings into your fear, let Him bring healing and comfort to your pain. Then re-evaluate your struggle through these new lenses. Remember, great and abundant is His stability and faithfulness in all things. Life is your decision, so choose well.
My Father and Lord, This economy and my finances have left me feeling angry and fearful. Help me to regroup … to remember that You are here, that You love me and my family, and that You have a plan. Help me remember that this economy and my recent loss have not taken You by surprise … and that You have already made a way for me. Thank You that Your compassion never fails and that Your stability and faithfulness are abundant. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who provides my stability, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10