Friday, January 15, 2010

Love in Loss

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I can live without understanding everything. –John Maxwell

Loss is loss. I know of people who have buried the “tents and times” of loved ones this week. When you experience loss yourself, this brings a horrific new perspective to the death toll that goes across a TV screen. Suddenly, it’s not a number, that’s a life. That loss is someone's mother, someone’s father, someone’s sister, someone’s brother. A life is gone; yet multiple lives remain in emotional, mental, and physical suffering of their own. We mourn millions at once; they mourn one in the millions.

I am blind and ignorant, but I can pray. I can pray for the healing of the suffering and the comfort over the mourning; and I trust God to be all. The Spirit speaks according to our faith, not our understanding or our experience. It’s about relationship.

Carry You to Jesus – Steven Curtis Chapman.
I will not pretend to feel the pain you’re going through

I know I cannot comprehend the hurt you’ve known
And I used to think it mattered if I understood...
But now I just don’t know
Well, I’ll admit sometimes I still wish I knew what to say and I keep looking for a way to fix it all
But we know we’re at the mercy of God’s higher ways and our ways are so small
But I will carry you to Jesus He is everything you need I will carry you to Jesus on my knees
And if you need to cry go on and I, I will cry along with you
I’ve given you what I have but still I know the best thing I can do is just pray for you

Whether an earthquake wipes out a nation or a car crash crushes a child, each is a loss to someone. Global suffering is reminder to those of us who remain: pray, help, cherish, and love in whatever opportunities we are given. One is no more important than the other; each life, mine included, has its own sufferings and struggles. Where there is suffering, may there be service. Constantly.

Just in the last few minutes: I read of one child suffering from brain cancer and her parents needing sanity and wisdom to save her precious life. I read of one woman who is preparing to be taken over by brain cancer and leaving her family for her Father. One of my own family members is suffering from cancer, and may be gone before Spring. That’s just in the cancer category. I have one friend who is filled with toxins and emptied of finances. I have another friend who is overflowing with grief that is ripping her heart to shreds. I read of a suicide attempt. I read of a slave shipped. There are thousands, one by one, that are without water, food, family, clothes, shelter…in dozens of countries across the globe; including, and not just the one, that is on the news.

How are we to survive under the weight of such suffering? Take it to the only One who can handle all of it. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39. He took on all of us for all of time; not just what we decide as “bad things;” He took on every lonliness, every hurt, every heartache, every cry, every pain, every death. Everything. He took on all so that I could give Him all.

Praise Him. Petition Him. Worship Him. Wait on Him. Work with Him. He leads us, not to crush us, but to have us experience Him in the depths of our own hearts to reach into the depths of our neighbors’ lives.

Love is a lifestyle. It’s practiced in the huge and in the tiny moments of life. Faith without works is dead James 2:20. So is love without life. Know love. Show love. You will always live as you truly believe.

Enjoy Him, Michelle


Anonymous said...

My Friend,
You do not realize the depth in which my heart gets touched by you! I need to read these every day!! Be blessed as you are a blessing to me, and I thank you.

Amber Elliott

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your blog - it is such a blessing to me. We have only met once, but I am so inspired by your depth of thought, simplicity and power of message, and your love and devotion for God. You are an inspiration and meeting many people at the point of their need through this blog! Thanks for sharing!

God Bless You!

DD said...

beautifully said!!!!!! thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I liked this one. Thanks for your devotions Michelle. Very touching.

Debbie said...

I really like the examples and analogies you use and when you share your heart well it's so wonderfully excellent! I love this Michelle girl but God loves her more!

Anonymous said...

awesome and deep-so wonderful for your friends that experienced loss this week and for those of us who have and will... Such a gift you have-verbalizing what I didn't even realize I thought or felt....