Three weeks ago, the topic of this blog presented itself to me; triggered by a Facebook post of a personal friend. Some time ago, she had lost her marriage and couldn’t imagine anyone wanting her along with two young children. Her post, on the morning of her remarriage, stated “It was so difficult when God took away what I had, but He replaced it with something far better than I could’ve imagined for myself.”
I reflected on how that statement applied to me and the recent losses I’d suffered. Having the ability to recognize that God is working on the challenging situations of one’s life, doesn’t make going through them easy. But it does give hope. That understanding helps me to readily identify the smallest signs that the situation is being handled with the most delicate of hands (Romans 8:28).
Every time I began to write this, I encountered another person sharing their loss. The losses were of all types; death, income source, relationship, housing. You name it, people were mourning who or what they’ve lost.
In pondering this, I concluded that the only way to look at these losses is to view them from God’s perspective. Hmmm… How does God see loss? God has never lost anything. He knows where we are, and what’s going on, at all times. Nothing is hidden from Him. Removal of what we hold dear isn’t considered loss to our Heavenly Father. God “re-categorizes.”
Think about it for a minute. Have you ever lost something that didn’t become re-categorized within your daily life? For example, I lost my father to death. Is he really lost to me? No. My father is scouting out Heaven before I get there. The soul is eternal. My father has been re-categorized within my daily lifestyle. It doesn’t mean that he’s not here within my thoughts and heart. He’s just not physically here. I certainly haven’t lost him. I will see him again. And the manner with which I’ll see him will be better than before. Physical illness will be nonexistent. Time exists here, not in Heaven. We’ll never be separated again (Psalms 27:14).
The feeling of loss from the sudden death of a loved one is heart wrenching (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Not being granted the opportunity for closure; saying the unsaid, or doing the undone, will remain unfinished. That lack of closure is what makes it so tragic for those remaining behind. What was left unsaid will have no choice but to wait until you see each other again. Of course, the words may not be as important on that day as they seem now. The plans for activities will have to be re-categorized into new activities that will be far more glorious than imaginable now. Learn about Heaven. Embrace salvation. Hope is for the taking. You just have to be willing.
The loss of a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend is again re-categorizing them within your daily life routine. Just because they’re taken away, doesn’t mean that they can’t return “new and improved.” If it’s God’s plan for the two of you to be united, then He’ll work with your partner while he’s working on you. If the two of you, and your relationship aren’t meant to be re-categorized as new and improved, then a better version will be presented; as it was for my friend. Willingness to learn and grow is key for both. Retaining God as central is the only certain way for longevity (Matthew 6:33).
If you’ve lost a physical ability, you’re now forced to restructure the way you do things. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. You just have to accomplish the task differently. If you’re willing to learn, there’s no end to what can be accomplished. If the body fails, improve the mind. Re-categorize (Psalms 32:8).
Income often requires re-categorization. What is removed may very well lead to an opportunity for better; a chance to expand skills, experience, and education (Proverbs 16:9).
Without the removal of what or who is comfortably in our daily life, we may never seek something else. I discovered that how long someone mourns their loss comes down to their willingness to learn and grow from it. We can let the loss consume us, or we can see how we can make a loved one’s life become a light of inspiration for others (something we may not have done if they were still here). We can lie in our sick bed because of physical restriction, or we can learn a new way of doing things…and perhaps learn entirely new things to do (something we may not have done in our previous state). We can wallow in self-pity over a terminated job, or we can use the skills that job gave us to find a better one (something we may not have done while complacent in our previous daily routine). We can mourn the close of a relationship, or we can seek the will of God and the many ways of improving ourselves; all the while, leaving the other person’s “improvement plan” to God (Jeremiah 29:11).
God removes what we know to be familiar in order to active us. There are times when something or someone must be moved out of the way because it/they obstruct our view of what’s beyond. With such a blockage, it’s impossible to move forward into God’s plan (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Is what we hold dear really lost? Or simply placed a side, causing us to focus our attention elsewhere. At a time of re-categorization, the question becomes, “Where am I to focus my attention?” It starts by changing how we think (Romans 12:2). Learn what’s to be learned from this experience.
Many believers don’t pray with regularity until they experience a loss. It’s only then that they seek God’s direction. The removal of what we hold dear may be exactly what God must do for us to start holding HIM dear; for us to value His plan for our lives; for us to praise in times of joy and times of sorrow. In all things give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Similar losses as Job’s in the Bible fell upon a man named, Horatio G. Spafford. After suffering the loss of business assets, the death of his only son, and the drowning of four daughters, he wrote the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” as he crossed the same area of ocean where his children perished (see video below).
Where is God at times of sorrow? He’s there with you, you just have to allow Him to guide you and give you strength to rise from the darkness and into the light of the plan He’s laid out for you.
God’s plan for you is not always clear, and can be more difficult to see when our emotions cloud not only our vision, but our openness to learning what the plan is. Tear down the walls and allow Him to show you. What God has for you is far better than you can imagine for yourself (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Referenced Verses (NKJV):
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
Psalms 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.…
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Psalms 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with my eye.
Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
1 Corinthians 2:9 – Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.