Devotional: January 12, 2022
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
Matthew 5:4 The Message
Sometimes loss reveals hidden blessings. Loss is not pleasant, or fun, as it often brings real pain and suffering. However, Jesus shows us that even in the midst of loss, there are blessings.
Television news stories about natural disasters tear at our hearts. Our community here in the Wenatchee valley is no stranger to fires which sweep in and take out whole neighborhoods. Not long ago, a fire tore through Colorado neighborhoods, whipped by winds in excess of 100mph. Initial reports estimated the number of homes lost at 500. As I was watching the news about those fires, a reporter showed the charred remains of what was once a neighborhood. There was not much left of many homes, or even a whole neighborhood. Here and there, some stone chimneys and brick walls stood, but little else.
Jesus acknowledges and offers a word of comfort and blessing for those who have lost much, or even all, of what is dear to them. I always picture the crowds drinking in, and perhaps being surprised by Jesus’ words. He opens their eyes, and offers them some relief from their grief, anger and bitterness. He offers them His blessing.
Additionally, I believe that Jesus tries to break the belief that losing everything means a person is being punished by God. Some may ask, “why me?” or “what have I done to deserve this”? In adverse circumstances, it is easy to think that God has turned away from us. Instead, this is when the Lord wants to embrace us, and to hug us.
Who knows more about loss than God? Even as Jesus was speaking these words, He knew that His own father would experience loss. Because of Jesus Christ's death, God can provide personal comfort to us. When we walk through grief, loss, pain and other challenges, God will be there with us. The Lord is holding our outstretched hand, helping us to realize that He is the one true blessing.
Loss may feel like abandonment by God, but it is not. Pain and suffering are not a sign of God’s turning his back on us. We may even discover that we have grown stronger in our faith, and closer to the Lord, as we have walked with Him through our losses. It is almost like in losing everything else, we treasure the Lord so much more…
God of all blessings,
Thank you for never abandoning me during times of loss, pain, and grief. May I see Your steady presence, even when circumstances knock me off of my feet, or I feel alone. When I feel abandoned by other people, embrace me with Your love. When I feel robbed of the familiar, remind us that You walk with me into a future You have already prepared. May I seek to understand the blessings which You have for me when I feel empty. Open my eyes. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.