“I am thankful, not for the losses but for all God brought me through, because I am positive I wouldn’t otherwise know Him like I do.”
These words came in a testimony from a woman named Alison in Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word. Alison lost her husband instantly in a car accident after being married only a short time. Then after remarrying, her young child died. As Alison drew close to the Lord, she was healed and helped and started a ministry to bring hope to those who have lost a husband or a child.
Also in that book is the story of Jeanine losing her three toddler children to a hereditary disease.
Here is part of what she related, “I asked God many years ago to please use me in any way that might glorify His name and in a way that would bring comfort to those in pain. At this point in my life, I feel that God has brought me to a place where 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is very real and a part of who I am….That’s part of what my ministry on earth is about. I can never say that I am glad to have lost my children or even that I think God planned it this way. But I can say that my losses have turned out as strengths in my life and I do consider it a privilege to serve God in the matter He has seen fit in my life.”
As I reflected recently on losses in my life, I could relate to what these women said. Here are some of the losses I’ve faced:
the death of two of my siblings by suicide, loss of loved ones who became prodigals—those who once were passionate for the Lord and who have now rejected Him–, the loss of friends due to their moving away or moving away from the Lord, loss of loved ones to severe mental illness, loss of leaders I respected due to their deciding to follow their lusts instead of the Lord, loss of relatives to drug addiction…
As I look at these losses, I can see how God has brought good from every one. He has used them to draw me closer to Him, to increase my compassion for other people, and to heal my soul and give me a more godly perspective on life.
God has taken what the enemy hoped would bring misery to draw me into ministry that would help to bring others hope and draw them to Him.
Every time I go to my job of working with the mentally ill, I meet people who have dealt with loss. Some have lost their innocence through sexual abuse. Others have lost parents who abandoned them to use drugs. Young people I interact with there have lost their self-esteem due to bullying at school.
Too many have lost their peace, their joy, their trust of God and other human beings because of the traumas in their lives.
What I know about losses is that we need to bring them to the Lord. If we try to deal with them on our own or merely with the remedies the world offers, we can end up bitter, self-absorbed, and filled with self-pity. I know because I’ve been there. Then one day God gave me this little poem, which comes to mind often when I’m facing yet another loss in life:
My soul, see life through God’s eyes/Give Him each sorrow and pain/for He can transform bad to good/and every loss to gain.
Through this short verse, I’m reminded of how faithful God has been as I’ve faced losses and learned to live with them and even bring glory to God because of them.
I’m also reminded that there are many things that I cannot lose: God’s love for me, His presence in my life, His ever-present help in trouble. (See Psalm 46:1) My goal is to remind others of these truths.
Today I choose to thank God for my losses—for the good they have brought into my life and for the glory He has allowed me to bring to Him through them.
How about You? Will you bring Your losses to the Lord and allow Him to heal you and then use you and your losses to bring Him glory? He is waiting with open arms.
I’ve posted the following song before, but it really touches my heart in regard to loss. A friend sent it to me in the beginning stages of my grief over my brother’s death by suicide four years ago. It is “The Hurt and the Healer” by Mercy Me, and it was a new release at the time.