Handling our losses in life: Part 1 - Hope 103.2

Handling our losses in life: Part 1

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsMonday 30 Dec 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsLifeReading Time: 0 minutes


At some point,you and I are going to meet up with losses of one kind or another. It may be big or small. It reminds me of the story of Sherlock Holmes and Watson,who went camping one time. They had been hiking through the mountains and they were tired,and they lay down at night to go to sleep. Laying on their backs looking up at the sky,Holmes said,”My dear Watson,look up at the sky. What do you see?” And Watson says,”I see stars,thousands of them.” “And my dear Watson,what does that mean to you?” Watson says,”Well,I guess it means that we are going to have a pretty good day tomorrow. Holmes,what does it mean to you?”   “Oh my dear Watson,to me it means that someone has stolen our tent.”

Like the tourist who was on an African safari. He became separated from the group,took a wrong turn,and found himself hopelessly lost in the Sahara Desert. After a few hours he was reduced to crawling in the burning sand,the sun baking down upon him. And then he saw someone riding toward him on a donkey. As the man approached the tourist cried out,”Help me,please I am dying of thirst.” And the man gets off the donkey and says,”I am sorry,I have no water. All I have are neckties.” “Neckties,you fool! I don’t need neckties,I need water!” “Hey,” said the peddler,”I kind of like you. I usually get fifteen dollars a piece for these ties,but since you are suffering,for you two for twenty-five dollars.” “You dummy! I don’t want your ties! I don’t need your ties! I need water!” And in disgust,the tourist crawled off into the sand. About three hours later,off in the distance he sees a palm tree,an oasis. And standing under the palm tree is a man wearing a tuxedo. He crawls up and he says,”Please,I am dying. Do you have any water?” And the man says,”Yes,we have plenty of water here.” “Oh thank God. I am saved. I have beaten death. Where can I get it?”  The man says,”Right back here in the restaurant we have plenty of water. Oh,but I am sorry I can’t admit you without a tie.”  Yes,it’s a funny story with a real meaning.

In his 1989 best-seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,Dr. Stephen Covey tells of an experience he had one Sunday morning on a subway train in New York City. People were sitting quietly,gazing at the Sunday papers,some relaxing,just resting with their eyes shut.  It was a tranquil,peaceful ride. Then suddenly,a man and his children entered the subway car.  The children were so loud and annoying,and instantly the whole feeling changed. Passengers started to get agitated. The man sat down next to Covey,closed his eyes,and seemingly ignored the fact that his children were running back and forth,throwing things,even grabbing people’s papers.  Dr. Covey could not believe that this father did nothing to correct his children. Covey became increasingly irritated at the insensitivity of this man letting his children run wild like that and taking no responsibility whatsoever for it.  Everyone else on the subway also began to be irritated by the behaviour of these children.  Finally,after exercising as much patience and restraint as he could,Stephen Covey turned to the father and said,”Sir,your children are really disturbing a lot of people.  I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more.” The man lifted his gaze as if to come to an awareness of the situation for the first time and said softly,”Oh,you’re right.  I guess I should do something about it.  We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago.  I don’t know what to think,and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.” (pp. 30-31) What had happened was a tragedy,and the father was grieving the loss of his wife and his children’s Mother. He needed help.

During our times of loss,we suffer and life is tough. Rick Warren said “Some things you don’t get over; you get through them.” And that is when we need the help of God our loving,eternal Father. Do you feel overwhelmed by grief and sorrow? Perhaps a loved one has died … or your spouse has left you … or you are dealing with the trauma of an abortion … or you have lost something very precious,such as your job,your health,your home,or a relationship. No matter how deep your pain,God can help you find comfort and hope.  The Psalmist said in Psalm 27:13: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I’d see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”