When Less Doesn’t Feel Like More

Loss sucks. Or does it? Life is so simple and yet so layered that to define anything leaves the description wanting.  Perhaps that’s because everything is supposed to point to the manifold glory and wisdom of God.

This morning I woke up and saw something that instantly reminded of some of the deep losses I have experienced.  My eyes filled with tears as my chest ached with deep sorrow.

“God, why?” I thought.

I was reminded of deep truths. Truths that didn’t settle my restless heart in the least. It only shed light on the direction I was to go. And I didn’t want to go that way. I didn’t feel like accepting the truth.  The truth didn’t feel right or good. And quite frankly, I was mad at the Truth. But I have fought the Truth and found it to be as successful as a gnat banging his head against a brick wall. The Truth always wins.  I can suppress it, fight it, or run from it. I have.  But Truth always prevails.

Truth is like the Sun that is always shining brilliantly whether I close the blinds and hind under my sheets or not. Truth is also living and active. Truth is like a hunter that seeks you and finds you. Truth is the reality that our sinful hearts does not want to accept. And the reality is, I do not reign sovereign over my life….Truth does.

Knowing that my warring would be futile I gave in to the Truth.  But not without stalling as long as possible.  Let me make a nice cup of coffee.  I could justify it in my head because that is what I normally do. Even though I wasn’t even desiring a cup, I made one.  Then I made a really big breakfast that I didn’t need. Oh and the project left unfinished in the garage I should finish that real quick and then I will sit down and listen to hear what God’s Word has for my empty heart.

By this time, not even I could deceive myself from what I was doing. “Just sit down and read God’s Word.” I said out loud.

So I did.

As I read, the blinds began to open and the light began to brighten the sheets over my heart. One by one sheets were removed as the light continue to penetrate and pull the dark sheets of pain away. I found myself grabbing a box of Kleenex so that I could blow my nose and remove the tears from my eyes so that I could continue to read these life giving Words.

Psalm 119 speaks of God’s Word being a means to giving life 6 times. And as I read the Psalm that is exactly what it did.  My losses are not erased.  But the presence of God has been put in its place.  The hope of Glory has been promised.  And the Holy Spirit revealing to me the Eternal Glory of the Father in the person of Jesus Christ was enough.

And though the war has been won, I know many battles like this will ensue til I my faith shall be sight.

What I saw that were losses were truly gain.  My sinful heart had turned the good things God had given me into fat that kept me from feeling and knowing that the LORD is good. And my loving Father took out the scalpel and trimmed away the fat around my heart that I would once again seek Him with my whole heart.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

-Psalm 119:67,71

The continuity of the this truth is found in the New Testament.  Although it shouldn’t be surprising that the focus in the Old Testament on the Word and Promise of God finds its fullest expression in the New Testament in the Word that took on flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus Christ. So the Apostle Paul can confidently say,

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. -Philippians 3:2-8

Loss can certainly feel like it sucks.  But when we have tasted the all surpassing goodness of God our Father in the person of His Son by the Spirits revelation and illumination.  Those losses are gain because it is only in those losses that we can taste and know more fully of the glory, power, and worth of having Jesus!

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