April 18, 2017
When we are children, the reality of loss is a lesson taught and learned very quickly as we miss a meal, see the needs of others met before our own, watch a mother’s attention diverted from us to a newborn sibling, lose a beloved toy or game, loss through parent’s divorce or job relocation, death of a close family member or even a pet. Perhaps the worst to absorb is the loss of innocence through abuse or extreme life circumstances.
Life is filled with many temporary and permanent losses. Regardless of the cause, one thing is certain – all loss hurts. Fortunately, we recover quickly from some losses. But others take months or even years to absorb and process.
Nowadays, many people are facing the loss of their finances or jobs as many businesses are closing or downsizing. This can be devastating to anyone, but especially to the breadwinner of a family. Even losing a second job may represent a threat to survival, credibility, identity, or the stability of our spouse or kids.
Loss can produce many emotions, but fear is usually at the root of most of our uncomfortable responses. Will we lose our home? Will my kids be upset? Will I be able to comfort my kids or spouse? Will we be able to make ends meet, now and in the future? Can we provide for our children’s needs – emotionally, relationally, materially, spiritually? What am I role modeling to others with the way I am handling this loss? Who will respect me? Will our marriage survive this pressure? Will she still love me? Do I still have worth and value to anyone? Am I a failure? Will I ever get ahead? Am I destined to struggle and fall short?
These 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. Although it’s difficult, this is the time when it’s essential to focus on Jesus, not on the problems. This is the time to remember that He, not that job or other’s opinions, 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. Experiencing loss is not easy. But with Jesus, we have hope. More importantly, we have a powerful peace. We may have lost something we thought was essential and answers seem distant, but God is not. Step back from the hardship and see your life from God’s perspective. If you think He has abandoned or persecuted you, think again. It is because of His mercy and loving-kindness that we are not already obliterated by the adversity.
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 are His stability and be faithful in all things. Whether you focus on Jesus and rejoice in His infinite gain for you, or you focus on the loss resultant despair 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 neither this economy, my recent loss nor any other adversity has 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