When loss is GAIN
Earlier this year, I spent 2 months in bed recovering from an operation. My time of recuperation was a special time. A Writer’s Grand Prize. A dream realised. Time spent resting. Time to do as I pleased – within the confines of a bed. I used my cherished gift of time to be still, to reflect, to hear from God, to pray, to recharge my batteries, to study, to learn, to read, to write, to build both my spiritual and mental muscles. I have to confess though that it didn’t always work out the way I’d hoped for. There were moments I felt restless; when I wanted to be up and about; when it was hard to be still.
But today, as I look back, I can truthfully say that I reaped many blessings through that unusual season. One of the biggest joys was having precious uninterrupted time to spend with books – to read them and to write them. I usually have little time for both pleasurable pursuits. Now I was offered both on a platter. Thank you God. Thank you!
During that time, I hoped to participate in a short story competition. The problem was that my muse had decided to take a vacation. I couldn’t find her anywhere. Oh dear! After much futile hunting for her (had she taken a walk? I don’t know. Was she hiding? Perhaps!) I remembered I had something that might take the place of my recalcitrant muse until she returned safely. Somewhere in my laptop, there was a page of ideas I’d copied off a book on writing – little prompts that would ignite my brain, like a match being set alight. And so I reached for it.
I hunted for that page in my Creative writing folders. I’d seen the document only a few days before. But when I needed it, I couldn’t find it. Very frustrating! I began to do a thorough, systematic search through all of my 100 creative writing folders! It was a mammoth task. Unfortunately, in spite of all that diligent searching my notes seemed to have vanished beyond recall.
I found this. I found that. I found everything but what I was hunting for. But ….wait a minute. I did find some very useful information during the process. Over the years, I’d taken copious notes about novel writing.; I’d obtained useful information off umpteen books I've studied on Creative Writing. Now all of these different documents kept popping up unrequested as I searched for my document of ideas. One by one they came up on my screen. And one by one they filled me with hope. And one by one I printed them off. You see, another of my goals during this period of recuperation had been to start writing my first adult novel. There’d been a few setbacks to that plan. To many writers writing novels come naturally. To this writer however, (who’s until now been mainly a non fiction writer), writing my first novel is (and was) a gigantic task.
My muse taking a long vacation just when I needed it hadn’t helped either. But God had come to my rescue. If I hadn’t searched for those short story ideas – I’d not have found my many useful novel writing resources. I was so pleased. As happy as a peacock strutting deep into the woods displaying its magnificent feathers. I’d learnt once again that often loss precedes gain. Have you discovered the truth of that?
Many times in my life – when I’ve lost something – I have gained far more. It happens. When I’ve lost a friend, I’ve found a dearer friend. When I’ve lost my perspective; I’ve found a fresh and better perspective. When I’ve lost hope, God has renewed it. When I have lost time spent in serving others, I’ve gained a deep joy that money cannot buy. When I’ve lost what I thought was valuable, I have found a deeper riches.
The way of Jesus is often through loss. Jesus asks me to give up my life in order to find it. In Luke 9:23 He makes it clear. "Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Yes, the way of Jesus is often through loss. But the treasure He offers us is far greater than anything we could imagine or ask or think. Have you lost something valuable today? Are you hurt and disillusioned? Do you wonder what God what God is up to? Let me encourage you.
God knows what He is about. This past weekend I have been discovering afresh the bounty and care of an amazing God - One who loves me deeply. God has shown me that when I let go of what’s important to me, He fills my hands with deeper treasures. And have you noticed - you and I can never outgive our faithful God. He is the Giver of all good things. We can trust Him wholly. Always! Yes, today - you and I can trust Him with our futures. God knows what He is about!
“From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another.” John 1:16
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Philippians 4:19,20