August 31, 2022

Here’s Where God is in Your Loss

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

People who have experienced staggering loss and yet continued to declare the goodness of God are fascinating and inspiring.

It had only been four days.  Four days since cancer had ended his wife’s earthly journey, Pastor Bill Johnson went to the pulpit to be with flock. His words resounded with those of other Jesus-followers who suffered loss and yet loved and trusted God in the absence of understanding.

“What about loss?” Johnson asked. “That’s the mystery that we have the privilege of carrying. The level of revelation God gives you will always be equal to the measure of mystery you are willing to live with.” In the pain, God is there, Johnson said. “There are aspects of his presence that you can only find in the valley of the shadow of death…I don’t need explanations from Him, I just need Him.”[1]

“In my own life,” wrote Elisabeth Elliot, “I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.”[2] Elliot lost one husband to murder and another to cancer.

Joni Eareckson Tada lives with loss daily. After almost six decades of life with quadriplegia, Eareckson Tada says, in suffering “God doesn’t just give us grace, He gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace.”[3]

There’s an intimacy with God here, but, in Johnson’s words, “Friendship with God can only go where his lordship has already been.”[4]

[1] Johnson, Bill. Breaking the Bread of My Soul. YouTube, YouTube, 18 July 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbmKDFcG-vE. Accessed 2 Aug. 2022.

[2] Elliot, Elisabeth. “A Quote by Elisabeth Elliot.” Goodreads, Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1087066-i-am-not-a-theologian-or-a-scholar-but-i.

[3] Tada, Joni Eareckson. “Joni Eareckson Tada Quotes and Sayings.” Inspiring Quotes, https://www.inspiringquotes.us/author/5804-joni-eareckson-tada.

[4] Johnson, Bill.  Ibid.