by: Marty Paluch
Have you ever stopped to think with every gain in life we also experience a loss?
Conversely, with every loss in life there is a gain.
A new baby, a new home, a new job or new marriages are events usually regarded as great gains. Each ‘new’, however carries the loss of something ‘old’. A new baby usually also means loss of sleep for starters. A new home may mean the loss of carefree Saturdays as the yard and home demand attention. Even a new job or promotion may cost us commute time, office friendships or lunch hours. To adapt, we embrace the good, acknowledge the losses and move on.
Traumatic loss, on the other hand, tends to emphasize what is no longer and clouds the horizon of what’s ahead. A job layoff, a divorce, a cancer diagnosis, the death of a spouse or worse, a child, disrupts life on so many levels the loss is all we can see and feel. Broken promises, financial insecurity, the void of a life no longer bedside us or the anticipation of IV lines and hospital beds do nothing to make us smile, let alone see any gain in the future.
Loss is a fact of life - at least this life. Loss is a painful dynamic of a fallen and broken creation. The pain of loss is not limited to humans. We need only to look at a cross to be reminded God is well aware what it feels like to lose what is priceless and beloved.
However, the Scriptures resonate with God’s promise of turning loss into gain. From Genesis to Revelation all who place their faith and trust in Christ are assured shadows will give way to light, the broken will become whole, the blind will see, the deaf will hear and mourning will give way to laughter. Throughout creation Jesus is making all things new!
God’s promises now inform our perspective, and our perspective is critical. Living in the knowledge of God’s love for us we see God working to shape us more into the likeness of His Son even in our darkest hours. The image of God is reflected more clearly to a culture in constant conflict when we no longer see ourselves as victims of circumstance but victors in the struggle against the forces plotting to dismember the Body of Christ.
For Christ followers, loss is gain. Jesus lost His supremacy living among us, so we could gain a model of obedience, service and compassion empowered by absolute Truth. Jesus lost His life on the cross so we could gain forgiveness for our sin. And Jesus lost three days to death so we could gain eternal life in a world where sorrow, pain and suffering will be unknown.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39