BCL Grow: Processing Loss — Isaiah 57:1-2
Isaiah 57:1-2 (Perseverance)
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The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds
who walk in their uprightness. — Isaiah 57:1-2
“The loss brought about by the accident had changed my life, setting me on a course down which I had to journey whether I wanted to or not. I was assigned both a tremendous burden and a terrible challenge. I faced the test of my life.” — Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, p. 29.
Steps to Take
1. Consider: If you’ve lived long enough, you know from experience that some past events or circumstances that didn’t make sense at the time had a purpose after all and brought about some good. Think about how you felt then and how you view the events/circumstances today in light of the knowledge you have acquired over time.
2. Know: We see a clear example of God at work in the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis (see Gen. 37-47). Throughout the hardships and unfair treatment Joseph experienced, God was preparing him to save his family and the people of Egypt from the upcoming famine.
You don’t know what the trajectory of your life or the lives of your loved ones would have been if a certain event didn’t happen. We tend to assume that everything would have gone smoothly, but the sad truth is that many people fall into grievous sin and terrible circumstances later in life. God in his mercy also spares us from future misery to come. This world is not all there is, nor is it the end of the story—God has something far better and more glorious for his children.
3. Trust: Even though a certain event may seem to make no sense at the time, we can trust God has a purpose in all that he allows; we can rest in the knowledge "that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). God has given us his word and Spirit to remind us that even in the midst of suffering we have the peace and love of our Father in heaven because of Christ our Savior. We also have a glorious eternal home awaiting us that can never be taken away.