Trusting God Through the Pain of Loss

The wind barreled in from the ocean and ripped through the trees, looking for loose roof tiles or edges of siding on the little house. The family home had stood firmly on its legged foundation overlooking the bay for several generations. It witnessed births, parties, quiet dinners, and wakes for loved ones taken too soon. Its walls had thickened over the years due to layers of cheery wallpaper replaced every twenty years or so, covering the fingerprints and crayon drawings of the little ones once they had grown. The noisy creak in the second stair and the loose handrailing had never been repaired, but all the inhabitants knew where to place their foot and avoid leaning. Sliding down the banister had long been forbidden.

Another gust drove a branch of the one tree strong enough to grow this close to shore through the kitchen window, shattering the glass. Shards covered the countertop and filled the sink where cooks and dishwashers had stood each night at 5:28 to clean up from supper. Through that window, they had viewed magical sunsets and spied fishermen’s long liners and speedboats, crisscrossing the harbor and heading for the watery horizon. That window always needed cleaning as the view often blurred with the ocean spray’s salty residue. 

No one heard the glass shatter. No one saw the jagged pieces litter the room, normally the busiest space in the house. The noisy inhabitants, known for their welcoming kitchen parties, had fled with their most prized possessions and photo albums, leaving the little house to stand alone to face the storm. One-eye blind, it wasn’t doing well.

On the other side of the broken pane, the surf, which already licked the bottom of the house, grew and reached higher with each pounding wave. While the hardy structure had faced many storms and bravely stood its ground, this time, the shore to which it gripped was rapidly disappearing beneath the roiling water.   

Within an hour, the little house would be washed out to sea, floating for mere seconds as it attempted to keep its head above water. The remaining windows would shatter, allowing the water to pour in. As the angry ocean flooded the rooms, it would pull the house to the rocky bottom, where it would valiantly make one final attempt to fight by anchoring close to the shore.

2 Corinthians 4:18 says:

There’s a lot of trouble to focus on. These latest hurricanes destroyed numerous homes like the one described in the above scenario. Many fishermen lost their stages and boats, the tools of their livelihood. Some lost their lives.

A natural disaster can wipe out all of our earthly treasures in an instant. But Jesus tells us:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT

It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their homes and possessions. Yet, these verses remind us that these things are temporary; they are earthly treasures. As we continue reading Matthew 6, we realize that God doesn’t want us to worry about our needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. He promises to take care of us. To claim that promise, we just need to invite Him in as the Lord of our lives and trust that He will do what He says.

As our friends and families rebuild in the aftermath of these violent storms, God’s promises will be fulfilled if they ask Him for support. He works things out for good for those who trust Him (Romans 8:28). And while we rebuild shelters to live in here on earth, God is building a home for us in Heaven. His Word guarantees there will be no moths, rust, or thieves to worry about. I’m guessing that hurricanes might be on Heaven’s no-worry list as well. Our eternal home will be just that. ETERNAL.

You may be suffering from loss too: A marriage, a job, the life of a loved one, your health, or even your home. I encourage you to invite Jesus into your heart and your situation. He sees you and knows what you need. Ask Him for help and then trust Him to fulfill His promise.  As believers, while we experience the pain of loss that these situations bring, we can look to the future with hope because we know God loves us and will get us through.

My good friend Carolyn Cheer wrote a 21-day devotional entitled Do You Believe I am God or Not? Anchoring Your Hope in God’s Promises. If you need encouragement after facing loss, I highly recommend you read it.

God, You are my refuge and my strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). When the wind blows and the waters rise, leaving destruction in their wake, You are still in control. When my emotions would demand to know why this happened to me, help my spirit to ask about Your purposes instead. Use this situation to draw me closer to You. Thank You for being there to comfort me as I mourn my loss and for the strength to lean on You with trust and praise. Thank You for giving me hope. You haven’t failed me in the past, and You won’t fail me now. Amen. 

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