Navigating life’s losses (1)
“A time to gain, and a time to lose.” Ecc 3:6 NKJV
God’s Word neither ignores nor minimizes the painful realities of life. Inevitably, we and our loved ones will experience life’s losses: illness, aging, death, divorce, disability, loss of independence, unemployment, financial reversals, etc. Today’s culture prepares us for gain, but not for loss; to dance, but not to mourn (See Ecc 3:4). Major losses throw us into unchartered territory. So, we need to understand the dynamics of our loss in order to help us through it and back to living again. Life-changing loss begins with bereavement—the agony of feeling that something or someone indispensable to us has been ripped away, leaving us feeling robbed. Then comes grief—searing emotions of overwhelming sorrow that are often accompanied by anger, distress, confusion, and helplessness. Next, we move into the mourning stage—and begin to express our grief and loss. This is the “hard work” stage of tears, memories, and heartrending spasms of weeping that shake us to our very core. We feel guilt and remorse over what we have said or done or not said or done. And our heartache gives those around us opportunity to respond, offering the comfort and reassurance we need to begin healing. This is God’s protocol for healing broken hearts. At 120, the Israelites’ beloved leader died—leaving behind him a grief-stricken nation (See Dt 34). And God allowed them thirty days to mourn their loss and to comfort one another before resuming the business of life. So take the time you need to do the work of mourning your losses because Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Mt 5:4).