How To Handle Your Losses
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20-22 NIV This past week, the nation paid tribute to those who perished five years ago on September 11th in the New York City terrorist attacks. It has been a year since the ravaging hurricanes named Katrina and Rita wiped out the gulf coast. Many have lost loved ones who have gone on to glory and prayerfully are now in the presence of the Lord. As a result of these factors mentioned and many more factors not, we are living is a time of unprecedented lost. Death is a natural process of living. But, if death is a part of life than how do we handle death? With this in mind, we can also ask the question, “How do we handle life?” I would like to answer this question later. However, let’s talk about how to handle our losses. Are you dealing with the loss of a mate by death or divorce, the loss of a child, a mother, a sibling, father, grandmother or grandfather? Are you dealing with the loss of a close personal friend, a job or independence? What ever your losses are, I will assist you in handling your losses. Cry The first thing you must do is to mourn. Many people have come to the conclusion that mourning is not spiritual. However, when you look in the life of Job who lost all of his money and children, the first thing that Job did was begin the mourning process. He tore his robe and shaved his head. This was how people mourned in his time. When you are going though a time of loss, you need to mourn. I will define the mourning process as to cry, to communicate and to change. To cry means to let all your unexpressed emotions out. When you are dealing with the loss of someone who was close to you, you will not have words to express how you feel. You can only cry. I suggest that you cry. Holding hurt emotions on the inside of you will hurt more than if you just cried. Hurt emotions held on the inside of you will manifest itself in destructive behaviors like getting drunk, doing drugs, smoking and other additive behaviors. All of these destructive behaviors are ways that we use to mask the hurt emotions that we have on the inside of us. We don’t want to hurt, so we hide our feeling on the inside. It seems, however, that hurt is the only way to cure hurt. Cry and feel the pain! Cry and own the pain! You have lost the person that you loved, a job, or a marriage. It is all right to cry. Communicate After you have cried the unexpressed emotions out in the open, next, it is time to communicate the emotions that you are feeling to any person who will listen. Communicate to your family and friends. Let them know how you feel. I would suggest that you set an appointment up to see your pastor. Most pastors will set and listen to every word you have to say. After you have communicated, they will pray with you to help you to start communicate with God. Like Job, you have to continue to worship God. Like Job, you have to realize that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Many times in our loss, we think that God has forgotten us. This is not true. God says that He will never leave you or forsake you. He did say that He would take some people or some things away from our lives. He did not say that you would not be forsaken by death or the destruction of a relationship here on earth. However, He says that He would be with you always. No one else living on the earth can keep that kind of promise. Change People who are mourning want to charge God for sinning against them but, the bible says of Job, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoings.” This is how you handle your losses. Do not charge God of wrongdoings, be willing to change. In most cases, as you are dealing with your misfortunes or loss, there will be changes that you most make. If you mate dies and your home is not paid for, you may have to move into a home that you can afford on your own income. If you were a homemaker, you may have to live with relatives until you can figure out what God has for you next. In moving, you may have to give away clothing and furniture. In most losses, there is always a change that has to be made. God can help you with the changes that you will have to make. Before you will know the changes that you need to make, God want to let you know that He can handle your losses! Remember, you have the victory! I said earlier that I would answer this question, “How do we handle life?” We handle life and death by making peace with God. 1. Every human is a sinner. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 2. God’s penalty for sin is death. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 3. In His great love, God has made provision for the salvation of sinners. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:84. Each person must put his trust in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10, 13 May God bless you and keep you. Michael Eaton is Senior Pastor of Holiday Hills Baptist Church. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.holidayhillsbaptistchurch.com.