I don't know why, but the Lord has put many losses in my path. Now that I'm older, I have experienced more death in my family than I can remember when I was younger. Relationships with others change and there is the grief that comes with the loss of that comfort. Even "good grief" is heartily felt as I transition from one place of employment to another. I'm so thankful for the new opportunity to serve; and yet, the goodbye to the "familiar" brings a sort of sad repose in remembering what has passed.
In the last two days I have been meditating on a wonderful scripture that I hope God the Holy Spirit will reveal some comfort to you if you are in the place of grief today.
"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth ; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" Isaiah 43: 18-19.
In order to move on from the place of grief, we have to practice what I will call "selective remembrance". We should remember the good times we experienced with a loved one. We should memorialize the good they did for us and others in the world. If it is a job, we should journal that "lesson learned" and thank God for it in spite of the loss. But we should not linger on any trauma or pain connected to the loss. This takes time of course. But I believe the Lord who is also our healer will heal the mind from hurtful memories if we but ask Him to do so. I truly do not believe that it is healthy to live in the pain of the past. You can get stuck there and so many do not ever come out of it.
Personally, I am learning to pray more about "how to remember" people, events, situations. They say "perspective" is everything and I agree that how you think about or upon a thing can either bring you to despair or to "winning" attitude. I have asked God many times to remove a memory that was doing me "no good". Some memories must be buried with the loss....I mean really, let it go! I decided recently to make a conscious effort to ask God, "how should I see this or that event, situation or relationship"? It is not easy - but I am finding a strange relief when I receive God's perspective and release my own.
The comfort in the scripture above also tells us that as we let go..God does something new. Wow! That's wonderful. God will always do something new but we have to look for it. My pastor today said these very words in a different kind of way. He said, "If you are ever in a win-lose situation and you are the one losing, look in another direction". I have to say wow again, right here! God is so faithful, He will never let loss destroy us. That is not "His intention". His will is to be with us, comfort us and walk with us as we process the loss so we can find new meaning in the experience of it to comfort and help someone else. God is always up to something "GOOD" for us. He is GOOD. This whole "black and white" thing is just not as "cut and dry" as it appears. Shades of "gray" is the bain of life...things are never what they first appear to be; neither are we....
The other wonderful promise in the scripture is God telling us that He will bring the water and refreshing we need in dry places. Losses of any kind can certainly dry up your joy and a positive outlook. God understands that. He placed a story about a man who lost everything in the Holy Bible. "In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job..." Job 1:1). Job lost his wealth, his children, his friends and his health but God didn't leave him there. God restored ALL that Job lost double-fold. But there was a greater lesson Job gained in the losing and he declares it to God when he says, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you" Job 42:5. Job lost everything but His spiritual eyes saw who God really is. He lost His children, but He didn't lose God. He lost his wealth, but God was still there. He lost his health to the point of gaping, disease-ridden sores, but God was still there. He saw the greatness of God in spite of his losses. He saw the sovereignity of God. He saw God's all-knowing power!
There is a "win" in the losing...Go to God. Let Him comfort you, love you and teach you. He is Still There.