(June 18, 2020)
“Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him.”
It is often said that people do no like change. But I think this statement is only half right. Change is not the thing that we really mind; the thing that we do not like is loss.
For example, consider Naomi. When change entailed loss (Elimelech, Mahlon, Kilion, Orpah), it was painful and she became bitter (“Mara”). When change meant gain (a grandson), it was pure joy and she was glad (“Naomi”).
We will experience both change and loss in life. It happens all the time. The only thing that does change is that which is already dead.
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What changes are you experiencing today? Where do you feel a sense of loss? We have all experienced these to one degree or another in 2020. The virus alone guarantees that. We often like to avoid thinking about loss, but the virus has been a relentless reminder — making us unable to ignore it. It is unavoidable.
So take a prayerful moment… where are you experiencing loss today? [Pause.]
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It is good to bring these things to the forefront of our mind because it is healthy to acknowledge and grieve. Lament is good; bitterness is not.
The more we mature, the more we see our life totally and completely enveloped by God. This makes it possible so that even when we are in the midst of passing through the crucible of loss, we can affirm, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21) That is when we suffer well. And if we suffer well, we look like Jesus. Others will notice. That, too, is unavoidable.
Father, whatever our circumstances may be, would you bring us to the place where we will always proclaim: Blessed be your Name.