We all experience loss in our lives. We can try and escape it or if we have the courage, we can face it and find that it can be the place where self-awareness and powerful change can happen. This week, we discover what our limits have to say to us as human beings. Read Lamentations 3:1-33. We all have limits. We all face losses that interrupt our “normal” lives. We can deny them, we can blame others for them, we can rationalise them, we can turn ourselves over to addictions, we can try and avoid them. But there is no escape from them! We all face many deaths in our lives. We can allow them to crush our spirit, or we can ask God to use them to open us up to new possibilities and new depths of change in Christ.
In our culture, the most common way to deal with pain and loss is addiction. We watch mind-numbing television for hours on end. We keep busy, hoping that incessant activity will numb the pain and help us forget our loss. We overeat, some drink too much alcohol, others indulge in pornography, we take pills – anything that will help us avoid the pain we feel. Some of us demand that someone else – our spouse, our family, our friends, our career, even our church – take the pain away.
As Christians, we can feel guilty for being sad or depressed. Paul tells us to “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Surely, if I feel pain or loss or am anxious about the future, that all points to my unbelief? I just don’t have enough faith! Christians can and should cry and grieve. Jeremiah is surrounded by sin and sorrow. He faces his darkest moment. The time of judgement he prophesied was coming true. He feels depressed. It feels as if God has turned against him. He feels trapped. His prayers, simply bounce off the ceiling. He cries out in anger. But through it all he comes to see that “the faithful love of the Lord never ends!” (Lamentations 3:22).
In the midst of your grief and sorrow, God still loves you. You can still have hope. His mercy is fresh every morning. Hold on to that today.
THINK IT OVER
•What do you do with pain and loss in your life? Forget about it and try to move on? Or allow God to use it for your spiritual and emotional growth?
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God bless you!