Hi everyone. Rob here.
You may have noticed that it’s been a while between blogs. I’ve recently started a new job at a community centre which is good news. It does mean that I now have less time and less energy as I juggle two part-time jobs. It’s yet another time of transition for me, and to a lesser extent, my family.
It reminds me once again of these words from John Eldredge,
“All change is first experienced as loss.”
One of the only consistent things in our life is change. We are in constant transition as we change and grow and as the world and others change around us too. This means that we are also constantly dealing with loss in our lives. What have we done with the losses? Have we grieved well? Have we grieved at all or just carried on without realising the build-up of pain in our hearts and minds?
My grief at this time is small but it is real. I am grieving the loss of time. I love the feeling of having time on my hands and hate the feeling of being rushed or running out of time. To avoid being resentful about my new reality I need to name the loss and take time to grieve it in the presence of God and his love. I invite the Spirit of comfort to bring his love to me. But the Spirit is also the one to bring clarity and a new perspective. By naming the grief I can also die to it and be ready for a new way of being and doing. I know that I have enough time, but my perception of that isn’t clear yet. I need God’s eyes to see but if I’m caught up in resentment about my loss I will never see.
Like I say this is a minor issue and the fact that I have the time to write this blog means that I’m already starting to see differently and am adjusting to my new reality. What strikes me though is that all of us are going through the change/loss experience to some degree or another at any given time. It is particularly acute in this time of Covid-19. I have just spent the weekend leading a retreat with young foreign-born church leaders who haven’t seen their families for two years. It’s a tough time and loss is the reality for us all.
That then becomes an invitation for us to look at all people, including ourselves, with compassion. Life is hard, often brutal. Jesus knew this. This is why he said in Matthew 6:34:
“Each day has enough trouble on its own.”
And in John 16:33,
“In this world you will have trouble.”
Bring your trouble to Jesus. He has overcome the world and when he seek his kingdom we will find all that we need. He will bring us comfort and healing for our losses and pain. He will show us a pathway in which to navigate the constant change of our lives. He will give us an anchor of hope, a river of life and a heart full of love. But in order to bring our trouble to Jesus we need to stop striving to fix it ourselves. You see, we may be able to fix some problems and make a way for ourselves but we won’t adequately deal with the losses. We can’t give ourselves the comfort, healing, love and hope that we need to move through the losses that constant change brings us. For that we need Jesus. We need the one who moved through the cross into resurrection life. Death to life. That is the gift Jesus gives us.
May you grieve well this week and as you bring your losses to Jesus may you experience his life-giving grace and love.
Shalom my friends.