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I think most of us at one time or another have felt the overwhelming grief of loss. If you have not yet, you will. Death and loss are an inevitable part of life that no one can escape.
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Imagine the athlete who has trained all his or her life to attain their dream, only to fall short of the podium. Many of our Canadian athletes experienced that recently. Or the dream job that you were sure was yours but it goes to someone else. Rejection is never easy to take. It’s a bummer. It’s pound-the-basketball-court or grab-a-pint-of-ice-cream time.
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And the devastating loss of a loved one that leaves you stunned, bereft and broken. What must it have been like for the disciples when their teacher, their friend, their Lord, was taken from them. And ripped from them so suddenly in such a brutal manner. Can anyone identify with that level of loss?
Obviously not all loss is the same. Certainly losing your job cannot be equated to losing a loved one. Yet all loss is painful and sometimes it can be hard to accept that God is in control and that what you are experiencing is for the greater good.
Now that I’m older (note I said older, not old!) I’m not afraid to admit the dreams I have lost. I wanted to dance, I wanted to write, I wanted 10 kids - but God had other plans for me. We all have dreams and we have all lost dreams. So it perhaps doesn’t take much imagination to understand the overwhelming sense of loss that Jesus’ friends felt that fateful day.
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But then the miracle of all miracles happened. Jesus showed up. Alive.
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And to those mourning he gave peace. The kind of peace that God knows our souls long for. This was not the first gift Jesus gave his grieving disciples, but it ranks right up there as one of the most important ones. And this is the gift He gives you and me in our moments of despair. In a recent article in Christianity Today magazine, the writer observes “The peace of God can be described as a tranquil state of appreciation and faith when we submit to and trust the commandments of God and Christ.”
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And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
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I love the way pastor and writer John Ortberg put it: “Peace doesn't come from finding a lake with no storms. It comes from having Jesus in the boat.
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Jesus has supernatural power. And he gives that source of power to us. When we accept the Holy Spirit, we have Jesus with us always. “Christ in me, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:26
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As Easter approaches and we reflect on the awesome gift God gave us in the form of His Son, let’s not focus on the losses and disappointments of our lives. The life we have now is not forever; the life Jesus offers us is. And remember, if you invite him, Jesus will always show up. When you show up for Him, He’ll show up for you. . . . It’s our miracle to claim.
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Gill Bryant
PS. Jesus is alive, and if dreams can still be actualized, I wonder, when I get to heaven—will I be able to dance like Dame Margot Fonteyn? Will I be surrounded by a myriad of little children to pour my love out to? Just dreaming.