Losing To Gain

The problem with loss is you can't control it.  Sometimes, it can seem like gain can be controlled, but never loss.  When someone leaves, they leave.  It's a choice that is entirely out of your hands and you have to let go no matter how tight your grip is.

How much you love and care matters not a whit and does nothing to change the outcome.  Your faithfulness, your considerations, your trustworthiness, the past you have together is never enough currency to buy another minute, another moment, another touch.  The end comes and there is nothing else except the deep, bitter loneliness.

"From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things...and be killed...And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, 'God forbid, Lord!  This shall never happen to you.'"

See, Peter was trying to prevent the inevitable loss.  He was trying to control events, so he wouldn't lose Jesus, a man who was probably Peter's best friend.  Peter didn't want to go back to being lonely and alone.  Peter didn't want to be by himself again.  Peter was being selfish, but that's how it is with loss.  We don't want the loss, because of how it affects us.  We don't want the good time to end or to have to go on alone.

When Peter denied Jesus outside the court of the high priest, he may have done it partly out of a sense of spite as what he perceived as Jesus's betrayal of him and the others.  He, obviously, was afraid of undergoing the same suffering as Christ, but he may have been acting out of spite, too.  That he was willing to deny Jesus out of spite and fear may be the reason Peter uses "philia," when Jesus uses "agape" in John 21.

For Peter to accept Jesus fully as his Lord and God, in the end, Peter had to accept the loss of Jesus.  He didn't lose Jesus at all, as he found out.  In fact, he and Jesus were so close after Jesus' death and resurrection, that Peter accepted martyrdom.  That's what we can't figure out.  We can't see that by giving up our images of God or our understanding of God, God will fill those voids with Himself.  Our images of God are usually based on our image of ourselves.  Again, we make ourselves gods and we worship ourselves in different ways.  We have grown so comfortable with these images, we fear being without them and we can't believe that what will come after can be any better.  We don't like change and the worst kind of change is loss.

But we must lose our false gods, our images of God based on ourselves and our fears.  We must give them away to God and, while our arms are still open, we must let God embrace us with Who He is:  our Father, Our Savior, our Paraclete.  Loss is terrifying, when we don't know the outcome, but here we do.  It's life in Christ, a joy we've never known before and a peace we can't now comprehend.






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