Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#16

Today’s confession is not such a surprising one.  It is simply that I think I am feeling sad.  Why not sure?  Well, sadness has to compete with fear and anger right now, so it doesn’t always get recognized or acknowledged.  Fear has been front and center for awhile now, if the TV is on for any length of time, anyone would be filled with more than enough fear to keep them home and under the covers for quite awhile.  (which fits in nicely with the orders we have been given not to leave home)

Then there’s anger.  Anger is a natural reaction to having things systematically taken from us over a short period of time.  Feeling more and more restricted in where we can go and what we can do has left us angry and feeling helpless.  Once the anger subsides, it is then that sadness has a chance to make herself known. She has been with me all along, but I have been too busy being scared or being mad, to have time to pay her any attention.

But today, I had to acknowledge that I am sad.  I have not spent much time in fear because of my faith.  And anger is exhausting and pointless and for me, passes quickly.  When those two are stripped away, I am finally left alone, face to face with my sadness.  Sometimes my sadness is for myself, most times it is for others that I know and love and for all those I don’t even know but identify with because we are all one race, the human race.

There is a lot of loss going on right now, but no time to grieve as we are still in the process of loss.  The losses are still continuing.  Loss of lives, loss of freedoms, loss of daily routines, loss of work, loss of time spent with others, loss of travel long planned, loss of events long looked forward to (weddings, graduations, sporting events like the Olympics – the list would be endless)

It is hard to grasp, because it is so global.  Loss is being experienced by so many, in so many different ways, that it is hard to know what to grieve or when to grieve or how to grieve.  Do we even dare to grieve when so many are losing so much?  Are we allowed to grieve the lesser losses?  (if there is such a thing?)

Usually, when we experience a loss, whether the death of a family member or a divorce (the death of a marriage) or the loss of a job, which brings with it the loss of income, daily purpose, perhaps status and identity – in all these we have other people to come around us and support us in our time of loss and grief.

Right now that is not possible in the traditional sense.  Funerals cannot be held for loved ones.  Funerals typically provide closure and support for those grieving their loss as others physically come along side them and share in celebrating the life lost and share in saying goodbye.  This shared experience provides an enormous amount of comfort to the grieving family.

So now the loss is double, they have lost a loved one and lost the opportunity to grieve in community, by holding a proper funeral, at the same time.  Their loss has been compounded.

People are wondering when they will be able to return to work and worrying whether or not they will even have a job to return to when this is over.  But underneath the fear/anxiety and the anger lives the sadness that will be revealed when the other two are stripped away.

I am wondering though, when this is over and we are taking stock of our losses, will we find that we have gained more than we have lost?  That would indeed be a surprise, wouldn’t it?  Right now we are told to make sacrifices.  Isn’t a sacrifice in baseball, someone who takes a loss (an out) in order to obtain a greater gain? (the advancement of other runners already on base)

Will our current losses bring us greater gain?  James thinks so, as he says in James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Not lacking anything?  Are you kidding me?  This COVID-19 has been all about loss, if you ask me.  What gains could be greater than all I am losing on a daily basis? Paul had an answer to that question which he gave in Philippians 3:8-9 when he stated,

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

“Rubbish?”  that’s what Paul thought of all his earthly possessions and achievements?  Well, he was the one who said in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Job also had some thoughts on the matter when he said in Job 23:10, “But He (God) knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Job thought his gains would be of greater worth than his losses.  He trusted God that would be true, even though his current circumstances gave him no reason to believe that.  But then, that’s what faith is, trusting God over our circumstances.

As I am grieving my lesser losses, hopefully not guilty grieving, I can realize that (just as in baseball) my losses are the sacrifices necessary to bring about the greater good and the greater gains God has in store for me.

Peter summed it up when he said in 1 Peter 1:7, “These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

My Heavenly Father is not unaware of my sadness as I watch others experiencing loss even as I am experiencing losses of my own.  I have His assurance in Psalm 34:18,

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

“But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”  (Psalm 3:3)

Thank You, Lord, for being the lifter of my head when I am sad.

sincerely,        Grace Day

 

 

 

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