Sunday, December 9, 2012

When What Was Ours Never Was

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.”
— Paulo Coelho
Beyond simply God nothing matters, but we are forgiven for feeling a little offended about such a concept. Surely our loved ones matter. Surely, once they are gone, their legacy lives on; our memories are testimony to how they lived their lives and how they loved us as we loved them.
But when all superficiality is stripped away, nothing lasts. Life is finally revealed for what remains. And the only thing that remains is God.
About the best thing that happened to me, having suffered a marital separation beyond my will was to realise my family, which I had lost, was never truly mine in the first place. Rather, I was a man playing a role and my family were simply God’s gift, for that time.
When I came to understand the power in letting go—in accepting that I am cosmically alone with God (now and to come)—I truly began living beyond the heart-rending grief I had suffered for six months. I grieved and then I moved on in joy, free of ongoing pining, because God helped me absorb those feelings of lostness, as I cast them on him.
Liberation from the World Comes from God, Only
We are seriously mistaken if we think we can massage, coax, and influence people or situations in such a way as to achieve, through them, the liberation of our souls. Just as much, we cannot seriously expect to understand the loss of a loved one or of something never dearer unless we see it, as peculiarly, from God.
We are not easily won to loss unless we realise it propounds a basic truth: there is nothing in this life beside us in relationship with God. All else, despite its importance to us, truly pales into eternal insignificance.
This is not to suggest our loved ones, our marriages, or our jobs don’t matter. But in comparison to God they fade long into the distance. We would only put our marriages and our close relationships above God because we are treading a dangerous line of idolatry.
So the secret beyond the strains and heartache of loss is we can never lose God.
Even though we will fail human beings and they will fail us, God never fails us. And even though our humanity, our possessions, our relationships, etc, are all fleeting, God never changes.
Could it be that only the things that never change were ever ours in the first place?
TheAA Hard Word – But One Nevertheless True
Have you considered the vanity in all things but God?
Marriage has been given such that families would be formed to the multiplicity of humankind, and to a lesser extent for companionship. For many ‘good’ people, marriage-and-family is their God, and God comes a ‘close’ second. Notwithstanding how ‘normal’ this is, we must understand, that, despite our love of family, we will lose them, and they will lose us. This does not stop us loving them with all our hearts. But it should help us place family in perspective with God.
This is a hard word but it is nevertheless true.
When we can hold all things lightly that we possess as precious—our families, our work, our passions—and never lose sight of the number one importance of God in Christ Jesus, we have a right perspective on life.
Perhaps that is the secret to enduring heartbreaking loss. If God is above all other things in our hearts, and all worldly things are placed in their proper perspective, we will still feel great pain in grief, but our hope runs beyond the things that can be taken away. For, God can never be taken away from us. Only God is a sure hope.
In some ways, this fact helps us appreciate how truly special our families are; how we must make the most of our time with them, now.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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