Tragedy and loss are an inescapable, indelible part of life. Ecclesiastes 3 is one of the most well know chapters in the Bible. Therein, Solomon explains the purpose and meaning of life. As he paints for us a word picture of life, he uses a form of speech called a couplet. A couplet is where you pair two things together to form a complete thought or to express an idea. He says that there is “a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up”. He is pairing polar opposites, positives and negatives, gains and losses to give us an understanding of how life is designed to work. He makes it clear that losses will come. That does not make it any less painful. That realization does not eliminate nor mitigate the hurt we will feel when we experience loss.
My Greatest Loss
The greatest pain I personally have ever experienced was the ending of my first marriage. As a young 24 year old, I did not know it was possible for anyone to be in that much pain and still be able to live or to be able to function. However, the greatest loss I have ever experienced was the passing of my mother. She was my biggest cheer leader. She was the one person who had my back thru the thick and the thin. And yet, the death of my mother did not hurt as much, despite the fact that it was a far greater loss. The difference was that in my 20's I did not have a frame of reference for my pain. At that time, I did not know that I would love again and that I would be able to move on. In my 40's I understood that loss was a part of life. I also understood that I would see my mother again.
Peace that Passes All Understanding
There are no laws that can ultimately prevent all loss and tragedy. Our walk in Christ does not give us an exemption from pain, suffering and loss. But what it does give us is a perspective that is eternal. In Christ we have a hope that sustains us in the most trying of times. There is the promise of peace even in the midst of the storm. We can find rest in Him. Our faith and trust is in The Lord's ability to keep those who are His. No matter what life brings or throws our way, we have a shield in Jesus Christ.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV