Friday, April 17, 2020


“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…” -Phil. 3:7-8 Sometimes it’s especially difficult to deal with a loss. When my grandfather died in 6th grade, it was tough. When we lost the city championship in football in ’76, I was overwhelmed. When someone stole my bike in college, I was ticked! When my dad passed away in the late 80’s, I was devastated. I’ve had lots of loses in my life: Some of my Loses 1972 Grandfather died 1975 Rusty (dog) died 1986 Miscarriage with Jeanie 1987 Todd (teen I counseled) died 1988 Dad died 1989 Josie (dog) died 2001 Maggie (dog) died 2003 Elizabeth left for college 2006 Eric left for college 2010 Doulos Ministries closed 2010 Kipp (dog) died 2010 Richard (my boss and mentor) died 2011 Pelham (my brother) died 2012 Maisy (dog) died 2014 Marc (my brother) died 2017 Mom died 2017 Papa Beadle (my Father-in-law) died Of course, I’ve had a lot of other important losses. It would fill up a book if I listed them all. Losses come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some loses are even good things, even though they are a loss. In this season of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are also dealing with loss: loss of consistency, loss of health, loss of freedom, loss of community. We can rationalize and justify, but the truth is, loss is difficult. I lost something a few years ago and it really bothered me. It was small, but a loss to me. Someone brought some candy into my office. Reluctantly, I put a piece in my mouth and began to chew. Immediately, I felt a crown in the back of my mouth come loose. I felt back there with a finger and it was gone. I couldn't believe it. I was ticked. I was upset. I was surprised. I was disappointed. It hurt and it would be expensive to fix. I called my dentist’s office. They didn't have an opening until the next week. I pleaded, but they said I’d have to wait. I considered calling the dentist himself, a good friend. I considered calling another dentist. But I finally conceded that I’d have to live with the loss. Truth is, I wanted to find fault. But a person didn’t cause it. It wasn’t Bit-0-honey’s fault. My mouth didn't cause the problem. I simply lost a tooth. There were no guarantees. Maybe I’d lose another. I needed to let it go. The tooth was gone and worrying about it wouldn't bring it back. I had to let it go, I needed to let it go, and I wanted to let it go. One last time, with my tongue, I reached into the back of mouth. Maybe it was a dream? Maybe I’d only imagined the loss? Nope, the tooth was gone. I decided to let it go. There is such power in “letting go and letting God.” I’ve found that when I give it over to my loving God, He brings comfort to the difficulty. He doesn’t necessarily rescue us out of the loss, but He promises to rescue us while we’re in the loss. I wonder what you need to release to God today? “Letting go” means I truly give over my anxiety and load- I hand it over to him in prayer. No wonder we need to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). It’s not a “once and for all” deal- it sometimes requires me giving it over to Christ time and time again. May we give Him our losses and trust Him in these uncertain times. He is worthy of our load… …teeth and all. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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