Definition of Loss is any major reduction in a person’s resources, whether personal, material, or symbolic, to which the person was emotionally attached. Types of loss include: death and dying; dissolution and divorce; loss of employment; life-threatening diseases and long-term disability; loss of possessions; homelessness; recurring and haunting memories; disenfranchisement and stigmatization; losses resulting from war and violence; and aging.
There is one thing that definition cannot address and that is that loss is a part of life. In chapters 1 and 2 in the book of Job the title character, Job, lost his family and his wealth in a single day. Later he lost his health. There is loss and then there is LOSS, and none of it is easy to deal with. Loss, grief, pain and goodbyes are all a part of life.
In our culture there is little time for whiners, or weakness. We are taught a young age to suck it up and move on. We value strength, self-reliance and a strong will. But is this the biblical way of doing things? I would have to say no. God has created us in His image and as such He has given us a healthy way to express sadness. We see that in the life of Jesus in one of the shortest verses in the bible, “Jesus wept.” God wants us to grieve. One of the things that I have come to realize is that everything that happens to us causes change.
I once knew a woman who had lost a child three days after birth. I overheard one of the mourners say, “I just hope she can get past this quickly and get back to normal…” Hearing that caused my heart to hurt. The truth is that woman will never go back to being who she was before that loss, and she should not even try. Embracing the grief and allowing the loss to be real will change or destroy anyone going through it, but it will never allow us to go back to what we were before it happened.
Recently, I said goodbye to my father. He passed peacefully in his sleep in the same room that my mother left this mortal coil from. He could not have gone in a better place or in a better way. For me, I still find myself reaching for the phone to call him in moments of stress or if I need his advice. The last conversation I had with him two days before he left was about my wheeler and its engine. Part of me wishes I might have known that was the last time I would speak to him and I would have said more, or maybe less and just let him talk. Either way my life will never be the same.
I know that God wants to walk with us through these moments of loss and grief. During our trials we often want the pain to go away, for Him to work a miracle, make everything right again. In reality, God is not in the miracle business (not to say He does not do miracles). Rather, He is in the transforming people business. This is why He recorded the fact that He wept at the death of a friend that He was planning on resurrecting anyway. Loss, grief, pain and goodbyes are part of His plan to change us. When that happens, we should allow God to walk with us through the trials. In the end, we will be stronger and more in love with our savior.
In response to the title question, “Who Cares?” The answer is simply God does!
Pastor AL Weeks and his family serve the fine folks of First Baptist Church of Kenai. FBCK is a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Please join them this Sunday morning at 11 a.m. for a time of amazing worship.