Loss wears many hats. On one hand it can be obvious and one size fits all: loss is loss, after all. On the other, its a bit of a chameleon, changing colors and appearance according to the thing it rests on and able to blend like a piece of tree bark in the middle of the forest, inescapable to the casual glance . . . yet nonetheless real and invasive. Sometimes the crashing down of an unmet expectation is the loss. Sometimes its the death of a loved one. Sometimes its the realization of what should have been but wasn't. Sometimes its a very important opportunity missed. Sometimes its deleting something special that can not be retrieved. So. Many. Hats. And we don't get to choose which one to put on necessarily or when we shall wear it.
And what is my response to be when loss climbs my tree?
Oh to have the faith of Job . . . having lost everything, family, relationships, provision . . . having been physically afflicted . . . having had the hedge of God removed from his life for a time (because God was so confident that Job's faith in Him was not based on his circumstances).
"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away; may the name of the Lord be praised." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." Job 1:20 - 22
In his grief, he fell down and worshiped.
It is difficult to see clearly when your eyes, puffy, swollen, worn, have cried a flood of tears. But sometimes seeing is not the act of looking but the act of discerning the proper response when the things of the world point in the opposite direction. Job was extremely grieved and those close to him offered him fleshly advice that had he followed would have heaped on more misery, yet Job was able to see that the right response was to fall down and worship.
But how do I learn to respond in this way in the face of loss and grief? By sticking with Jesus, who sticks near when heart ache comes. The psalmist tells us that . . .
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
Are you brokenhearted? Is your spirit crushed? Take comfort and be encouraged then that you are not alone, but are safe and accompanied by the one that has endured more grief and heart ache than any other. The Lord is close . . . .