Finding Life in the Losses

Sometimes when it looks like all is blackened and burned, new life is about to begin.

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I keep trying to get back what’s been lost.

Another job like the one I loved that’s gone.

Another home like our dream place that was ruined by abuse.

Other friends like the ones who made my life more complete.

But it’s been like chasing after the wind.

I will never catch it.

Sometimes I fear if I stop chasing after all that I’ve lost that life will simply cease to exist.

That I’ll be giving up.

That evil will have won.

Sometimes when I gaze out the window impatient and frustrated over how things have worked out, and the pain of loss seeps in, I forget what Jesus said to those who follow Him and experience loss in this world.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 10:39 ESV

Reading Jesus’s words frustrate and give me hope.

Life continually teaches me that chasing after the wind and not catching it is actually a good thing.

But it also means that I have to wait on God, and I hate waiting!

But when I don’t chase the wind, and wait on Him, His wind actually finds me.

Once I believed I’d caught the wind, that what I’d longed for my whole life was finally in my hands.

But the wind became a whirlwind and wreaked havoc in my life.

I’ve struggled to understand since that time why Jesus allowed us to lose so much.

What good could possibly come from everything we’ve worked so hard for being gone?

Why must we lose to gain?

There was a lot that Jesus said that didn’t make sense.

Thus the reason so many who initially followed Him turned away.

The multitude following Jesus completely missed the point of Him breaking the bread.

They thought it was to keep them full and comfortable.

They thought it was about life in this world.

When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

John 6:25‭-‬27 ESV

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”

John 6:66‭-‬67 ESV

The broken world cries out, Find your hope in me.

A beautiful house similar to the one we lost pulls at my deepest longings.  If we buy it maybe we can get back some of what we lost.  But the disappointment that comes when we discover it needs more work than we can afford brings great sadness.

Why, God, why?  I thought you restored the years that the locust have eaten?

I am answered with only silence.

In my discontentment, I pick up a new book to read.

Death and resurrection. The paradox of it breaks into me afresh: unless we die, unless we surrender, unless we sacrifice, we remain alone. Lonely. But if we die, if we surrender, if we sacrifice, that is when we experience the abundance, that is when we dance in communion. The life that yields the most—yields the most.

The fields to the south sing in the surrender of it: “But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”   (Augustine, Confessions) 

 I’ve got to let it go. This bread, those crops, these people, everything. 

And the Farmer hands me the basket of bread. What do you do if you feel too wounded, too devastated to receive? Sometimes desperation drives you through devastation. I break off my piece of the loaf. This is My body—and the crushed kernels dissolve into me, become me. 

The wheat seed grew into a wheat stalk that ripened and was broken and came to my brokenness. If you didn’t know how bread is made, you might think it looks like complete destruction.  

Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

 I’ve got to let it go. This bread, those crops, these people, everything. 

But can I let go and trust Him or do I want to go away and chase my dreams?

Sometimes I still wrestle with these questions, but in my heart I know the answer.

Jesus is the only One Who has the words of life.

We just have to wait for it to come.

The other day riding to school my children saw a single yard that was burned and blackened by it’s owners. The other yards around it were starting to turn green.  My son asked the question why did they burn their yard? All he could see were the charred remains of dead grass.  My husband told him it was so the grass would come back healthier.  And sure enough on our commute to school over the next several days the yard began to green. And finally when the process was complete the yard was greener than any of the neighboring yards. And seeing the transformation reminded me that our lives are much the same. Sometimes when it looks like all is blackened and burned, new life is about to begin.

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new…”
Revelation 21:5 ESV

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24 ESV

photo credit Agatha Brown Morguefile

3 thoughts on “Finding Life in the Losses

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