What a question! Of course, you’ve lost something. Everybody’s lost something sometime. Right? But really think about it…have you ever lost anything that was heartbreaking to lose? For most people, it would have to be “anybody” rather than “anything” to move into that realm. Sure, we’ve all lost trivial things before…a toy car, your shoes, your homework (did the dog really eat it?). But, if we’re going to be honest, we’ve also lost things that we hold a bit closer. A good friend. A favorite teacher. A close relative. These are the loses that have a lingering affect on us.
What about people you’ve prayed for and then lost? Does it feel like God has abandoned you? Do you feel betrayed by all those well-meaning people who told you “everything will work out”?
If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve probably heard lessons and sermons about the power of prayer. You’ve likely heard about miraculous healings numerous times. But what about people who don’t get the miracles? What about when everything doesn’t turn out okay (at least to you)? What about when you lose something or someone who you prayed for…maybe for weeks, months or even years? What do you do then?
Scripture is full of instructions to pray. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) “Pray without ceasing,” (I Thess. 5:17) “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16) I could go on and on. However, have you ever really looked into the lives of just about anybody who gets more than a passing mention in scripture? Abraham? Moses? David? The Israelites? The Apostles? Paul? The other leaders of the early church? All of them suffered. Even Jesus (and not just on the cross) suffered.
Sometimes, it feels like God is silent…turning a deaf ear to our requests. I’ve learned through the years that God has three definite answers to every prayer–yes, no or wait. The “yes’es” are great! The “wait’s” are hard. The “no’s” can feel devastating. I don’t know why God sometimes answers “no” but I know that His ways are far greater than mine. Perhaps someday, when I get to heaven, I’ll ask Him why about some of the people and things I’ve lost. Or maybe the glory of heaven will make all that suffering pale in comparison and I’ll just accept it as a temporary loss that is then dashed into the glory of what is to come.
Have you ever lost anything?
Interested in having Allen come to your church or organization to talk to your congregation or group about this topic? Check out his drama “Have You Ever Lost Anything.“