But we walk around with this illusion that we’re safe and that things will always be the same, that dramatic shifts don’t happen suddenly and without warning. But things do happen. And if we try to hold on to things too tightly there’s great pain when they’re suddenly wrenched from us. We feel violated and betrayed by circumstances, by the world, by the people in our lives, by God, even.
And that’s understandable. When we have something we’ve created, something we’ve built with our hands, a position we’ve worked hard for, something we put sweat, tears, and an emotional investment into, we feel like it’s ours. Like we own it. And to lose it is painful.
I’m not trying to bum everyone out here, quite the opposite actually. Because when you realize that life is going to be a bumpy ride, and you expect to have trying times, and understand that loss is a part of life, then you gain a type of freedom by not holding on too tightly.
But we must hold on to something. It’s part of what makes us human. We love, we create, we work hard, we build attachments and connections with other people. The things we hold on to give us identity and purpose.
As Christians we have this idea of “stewardship” that says everything belongs to God, and he gives us all things. So nothing is really ours anyway. I think this is part of what Jesus meant when he said if we seek our life we’ll lose it. But if we’re willing to lose our lives that’s when we find that we can really live (see Luke 17:33 and others).
The goal is not for us to avoid the things that we might lose. But to recognize that even when we suffer loss, as we all will, it really wasn’t ours to lose. We were just holding on to it for a while, as a gift of grace from our father in Heaven who loves us more than we can imagine. And it’s that grace based on God’s love that sustains us. Because he can see us through anything. And only he sees the end from the beginning.