1. deviation from what is usual or normal
2. mental unsoundness
How often we get swallowed up by the aberration- the exception; the one thing that is not going our way. So much so, that we lose sight of all that is good, all that is right, all that is true and just. If we could somehow stop to view the bigger picture, perhaps then we could see that often, that one segment is overshadowing all that is still good. But--sometimes that is hard to see.
It's true...some things truly are all consuming. The loss of a child or a spouse, a broken marriage, financial ruin-- all have the potential to overwhelm. I have friends who have suffered the untimely loss of a beloved child. This is a loss capable of shattering an otherwise stable life. There are no words adequate to speak to it-- so much so that the surviving parent is crushed with pain and consumed with their loss. Sadly, they can, in a sense lose everything that remains, because they cannot see through their tears, that which is still in front of them. I can imagine no loss greater. It is unthinkable-unimaginable and yet--to lose what remains is a tragedy of it's own.
Why is it that we are so drawn to the pain of our losses? This pain obscures everything else. Like a magnet seeking a mate... a tongue seeking a broken tooth, we are inescapably drawn to it, so much so that we can forget to treasure and nurture what is good...to acknowledge that there are still blessings to count. The discomfort is so distracting that we struggle to get beyond it.
It is understandable that we may lose sight of the good that remains. Grief and loss take time to work through. A lot of time There are no short cuts. Even so, we must navigate through it, with great care. Most often we are unskilled laborers. We have no experience to compare our journey to. We have never traveled this road before and we didn't make plans or reservations for the trip we find ourselves on. Yet, the road must be travelled.
Major loss is a game changer-a turning point, a membership in a club no one ever wants to join. It has to be an event so breathtaking that it cannot be contained, leaving us gasping for breath yet not wanting to breathe. Only faith can carry one through such heartache. Only the peace that passes understanding. Because there IS no understanding such things.
Even so, there is no other life to live other than the one we've been given. Despite the wake up call that makes you want to throw the clock through a window, shattering glass everywhere, we must press on. And- when others grow weary of drawing near to us because of the dangerous shards surrounding us, we must press in. We must persevere to the other side.
Lord help us, not to shrink back from this pain but to press into it... to be in community, not just with those who have shared a similar grief, but, with each one you place in our lives. Help us to be grateful for those devoted to walking through this horror with us until we stand on firmer ground. Comfort us in our loss and help us to not lose sight of what remains. Remind us that our loss is heaven's gain. And help us to never wish back what you have lovingly taken. Help us to cherish the gifts of memory you have implanted in our brains, but to live the lives you have given us with the companions you have placed in our midst.
Comfort us. Strengthen us. And help us to live wisely and for Your glory. For whatever time remains and for all those who need our love and attention while we are here, help us to look forward more and in the rearview mirror less...to cherish every sweet memory but not to miss out on what you have for us in the here and now.
Thank you, Lord, for what remains.