God Promises to Help You Cope with Loss
Suggested Reading: I Corinthians 1:3-7
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you—2 Corinthians 7:6-7
Loss can cover so many categories: loss stemming from the death of a loved one or close friend; even a beloved pet, loss of employment spiraling into loss or dramatic change of income, loss of faculties due to aging, loss of strength and health due to illness or disease, loss of spouse or life partner due to separation or divorce, loss of memory, loss of freedom, loss of home or shelter, loss of material possessions, loss of family support due to a move or family, relational issues and problems. In the end it is not only what we lose but the affect that loss has on our life and well-being. Certainly, to one person the pain of losing a longtime pet may be just as hurtful as the person losing a devoted spouse or child. Because loss affects each person differently it is unrealistic to measure loss by the loss itself.
In my own life I have experienced loss on numerous levels. Some emotionally devastating, such as the loss of parent, child, grandparent, yet there have been those that were hard losses but not earth shattering or life-altering such as when I lost my favorite pair of pearl earrings.
God does not diminish any loss nor compare our losses to others, but instead helps us put our loss into perspective so we can identify and balance our emotions and sort life out. My loved ones were not replaceable and putting their absence into perspective was not simple or quick, but things that have fallen into the category of material possessions were easier to manage and heal from. At times getting over material losses can be as easy as replacing them with a similar item and at others times the sentimental value is so great they are irreplaceable. The pearl earrings were very special and precious to me because they had been given to me by my oldest daughter, but they did not have any bearing on my relationship with her, they did not cause a rift between us or keep us from loving and enjoying one another. They did not impact my finances, security or shelter. In time my disappointment over losing them smoothed over and I was able to move past the loss.
God would not have us become stuck in our loss, no matter how difficult it may be or what kind of loss it is. But he does not deal with us harshly or critically when we move at our own pace trying to handle or process our loss. Instead, he loves us and helps us, he comforts, strengthens, and encourages us. He helps us come to places of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual peace and restoration. He helps us learn from him how we can continue on with life no matter how big a gap our loss has left. So many promises in the Bible support and bring attention to God’s gentle ways with us when we have experienced loss it is hard to choose just one but the writer of Psalm 126 gives us something to look forward to whenever we experience deep sadness after loss. He writes,
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (126:6)
And David wrote, Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
God’s faithful, unchanging character and nature help us know no matter what kind of loss we have experienced we can turn to him, trust him, depend upon him, pray to him, look to him, draw near to him and we will be helped. When our losses have been painful and upsetting for our life we can know God is our friend, our companion, our support, our promised joy and peace. The day and occasion of loss may be the darkest days we live through but as God as promised he will reserve a time of peace, hope, even strengthening and joy for us. There is still the promise of a good future ahead for us. Let’s pray,
Dear God, losing things, anything is difficult. The greater its importance the harder it is to accept and deal with. Thank you for promising to be with us whenever we experience loss of any kind. Thank you for not diminishing our loss or judging our feelings but helping us through it. Because you love us and care about us we can cope with loss and heal from it. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.