It was 4pm; the longest day of my life. It began with no food, prodding and poking from nurses, a drip line, an anaesthetic and then the scan. It then became a day of drawn-out agony, literally watching the clock tick by. I remember saying to my husband as we walked to the theatre: “This could be the end of a horrible day or the start of a horrific life”.
And then it came, falling off the doctor’s lips like a coffee order. Your son has a brain tumour. Time stood still. I was at a loss for words and I started unravelling over the journey of loss I was about to embark on. But let me show you how it was to my gain.
On paper, we are “losers”
With my little boy being only 15 months old, we would lose a lifetime of fun and laughter; he might lose his ability to play sport, a musical instrument or the enjoyment of an Oreo cookie. It would be the loss of a friend, a sibling, a grandchild and the greatest loss of all, my son.
To the world and on paper we are losers. In life we believe a certain kind of life wins and a certain kind of life loses. Life is about gains and losses. And Paul knows that, it’s the age-old story. Yet, the word of God has the power to take the world and the story it dictates to our lives and turn it on its head:
“Indeed I count everything as a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. …….. I have suffered the loss of all things, and I count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,”
In this life we will lose, it’s inevitable, and God knows that. God doesn’t want us try to convert our losses into gains. You landed some negatives; go balance it out with some positives.
No, he wants us to take our losses and believe they are gains!
That sounds crazy.
Only when we lose, can we win
Yet it is only when we lose, that we truly come to see the worth of the greatest treasure, the biggest win. Knowing Christ and being found in him.
If we could turn back the hands of time, we would all want to undo our losses and convert them into gains. We all want to reverse the past and then avoid losing at all costs. But I am faced then with the impossible and the inevitable; I cannot reverse the past, and I will lose many things. I would be setting myself up for failure, if I tried to undo my pain.
Rather, God’s word calls us to acknowledge the losses in their disappointments and pain and tell them the old, old story. I know Christ and I am found in him.
When I lose, only then do I treasure what I found.
We don’t need to wish we could turn back time. Instead, we need to value the time for what it helped us see: more of what we had in Jesus.
Why not declare today to your losses that they are worthless, considering Jesus? Why not declare to your heart today that your life is a sure win because you know Christ and can be found in him?