Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dealing with Loss

This week I received a call that a dear friend, back in California, who’s wife had passed away from cancer. We grew up together during high school. He and his wife were high school sweethearts. Married afterwards. They were both dear friends. They have 3 boys now teenagers. The same age we were. A time we called the good old days. Those were hard times but we looked forward to the future. Death was never in our thoughts.

Just how do we deal with loss? It would be nice to say that just reading a few verses of scripture would some how take away the pain. Through my experience it does but it can take months or years.

My mother once told me that funerals were for the living. Yes they are and I find it sad how we try to sum up one's life in just a few words. It is a time of saying goodbye I guess. Each time I have attended a funeral within the tears I have been given a smile. Knowing they are safe with Christ and time will come when we will see each other again. This is the confidence that comes with being a Christian.

Death comes in many forms. The loss of a job cannot only hurt financially but can cut deep into one's confidence. Killing a man inside. Too often we are defined by where we work. If that were true then Paul would have been known as a tent maker and not a great servant of God. Paul suffered yet he rejoiced in his suffering. When dealing with loss the last thing that comes to our mind is rejoicing. It is when things are at there worse that we come to realize the light of Christ Jesus shines brightest. Too often I have missed it by keeping my eyes closed on this world instead of keeping them wide open on the Kingdom of God.

When dealing with loss, I am no expert; one cannot afford to look inward. The resources within self are just not there. We need to reach out for help. On the other side we need to be prepared to help others. In the Gospel of Matthew our Lord tells us how important it is to be a servant.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt 20:28 (NLT)

If I am to be like my Lord then I must focus on serving others. Just a simple smile at times can make all the difference in one’s life. Taking time to listen. Offering a helping hand. Even a rebuke is needed when done in love for one another.

When you hurt be willing to ask for help. Be willing and keep your eyes open to help others.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Eccl 4:10 (NLT)

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