Spikes and Surprises: Hope in Loss

Monday, March 9, 2015

Shriveled up spikes that were supposed to be green had turned sickly brown. It was dead...really dead.  The aloe vera plant that I had nursed along for several years was not making it.  I pulled the plant out of the dirt and then tried to bury it deeper.  After all, that is what you do when something is dead.  You bury it. I snipped off the sickly protrusions because I couldn't stand to look at them anymore.  Then I walked away and never thought of it again...for days.  Why I didn't toss it out is beyond me.  Maybe because there was a little bit of hope.  Maybe because I was too lazy.

Then one day...a quick glance...and a surge of surprise.  There were pups!  Not the furry kind, but the green kind!  Seriously?!  The plant had died.  I thought.  But out of its supposed demise life had sprung.  It had not only sprung, but seriously multiplied.  Each morning new pups were poking their heads up to see the sun.  Amazing!

There are times when I grieve. I grieve the loss of relationships. The hard breakups and the slow "moving aways" from each other. The events in life that didn't go the way they should have.  The conversations that fell flat and left shattered dreams on the doorstep.  So much about life is death.  It is heartbreaking.  There are days when it is almost too much. There are days that I don't want to face for fear of the losses.

But the aloe plant knows better.  It knows...

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
John 12:24-25

God knows...that death is a part of life.  That death produces life.  That the precious moments, relationships, and things that we grieve may someday multiply into blessings beyond belief.  A surge of surprise will come from the shriveled up spikes in our lives.  After all, wasn't it dirty brown spikes across His brow and deep in His wrists that eventually brought about the greatest surprise of all...that the walking dead could spring forth in life to see the Son.

We can have hope that our losses won't end in total devastation. Our God is a God of rebirth. He delights in surprising us. The deaths we experience {whether they be a physical, relational, or emotional death} can produce in our lives new life. There can be hope to see the Son in the dark parts of life.

If you are in need of some hope and healing after loss check out these links:

Verses of Hope
Hope and Healing {A Helpful Book List}
Learning to Wait on God When Church Hurts

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