Monday, October 1, 2012

Hold Loosely

There has been a lot of loss for our family in the last few months.  We moved from St. Louis, leaving our ministry, our neighbors, our friends, our home.  Before we moved, someone left our gate open and our dog was never to be seen again.  We've felt let down by relationships.  Expectations have been unrealized.  Our health has been sketchy.  We're feeling culture shock as we leave a culture we've been a part of for a decade.  Then we were in a car accident and our van was totaled.

Some of the losses were small, some more significant, but the trend has been a little discouraging.  Andrew and I joked that we could write a bad country song, "We left our home, we miss our friends, our dog is gone, and our van was towed off to the salvage!"

In the past months not everything in our lives has been about loss (primarily, our long awaited ADOPTION!!), but there has been enough of it to make us uncomfortable.  This week, in the wake of the accident, and other life nuisances, I was discouraged by all of the losses and the words "hold loosely" came to my mind. 

We loved our ministry and neighborhood, city, and friends.  We loved the house we lived in, having painted it just so.  We were comfortable with our van.  But, at the end of the day, these are peripheral things.  It's so hard, in a world of materialism, to keep focus on Christ alone.  Sometimes, it takes our lives being shaken up a little to hear the encouragement to "hold loosely" to all that is not Christ.

None of the things that we have lost were bad things.  In fact, many of them are still very dear to our hearts.  But sometimes we can get so settled in what is comfortable that we don't even realize we have a white-knuckled grip on everything but Christ.

It is exactly this lesson--to hold loosely to this world--that allows someone like Horatio Spafford, who lost his children in a shipwreck, to write words like,

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Hold loosely...not an enjoyable lesson, but a necessary one.    It reminds me of another song, which says, "Take this world, but give me Jesus.  This is not where I belong."

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE that song. It comes to my mind often when I am frustrated or disappointed with something in my life. There is so much more!