Spiritual life is not an escape from reality but a commitment to a true reality. Loss marks the place where powerful transformation happens if we have courage. Limits are behind all loss. Even with “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” we cannot do or be anything we want.
Scazzero calls us to surrender to our limits. By surrendering you enlarge your soul through grief and loss. The book of Job in the Bible is about a man who lost everything in one day. Most of us experience losses more slowly over the course of our life until we find ourselves on the door of death, leaving everything behind.
> We lose our youthfulness.
> We lose our dreams.
> We lose our routines and stability in transitions.
> Most of us experience catastrophic losses:
> We lose a family member, friend, marriage, employment, a loss of innocence.
>We grieve many things we cannot do, our limits.
> Also, we lose our wrong ideas about church.
The church is not the perfect family with perfect people we expected. People disappoint us or misbehave.
Job was the Bill Gates of his day.
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
His wealth was staggering. A large herd, large staff, large family and his wisdom was well known. As Job is trying to make sense of life, he is covered with boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. His skin darkened and shriveled.
His sores became infected with worms. His eyes were red and swollen. He could not sleep, was always in pain. Job lived outside the city with the “unclean”
After 10 funerals and a hopelessly ill husband, Mrs Job had enough – “Curse God and die” was her recommendation to relieve the pain. Addiction is the common way to relieve pain; television, busyness, working 70 hours, overeating, prescription pills, watching porn, drinking and anything to numb us from pain.
You and I carry defenses to shield us from pain:
>denial – “I am OK I just got fired…”
>minimizing – “He is just drinking once in a while…”
>blaming others – “The doctors messed up his meds….”
>blaming yourself – “Because I am not worth it she is having an affair…..”
>rationalizing – “Counseling is not working because anger runs in the family…”
>intellectualizing – “Compared to other marriages, my problem is not so bad….”
>distracting – “Our family is not in trouble, look at the fun we had last Christmas…”
>becoming hostile – “Do not talk about her. She is dead and talking is not going to bring her back.”
Scazzero sees God’s path to new beginnings from the life of Job:
1. Pay attention - Job held nothing back of his anguish from God.
2. Waiting in the confusing in-between - guard against quick fix bandaid answers or repairs.
3. Embrace the gift of limits - Job had to embrace his limits. Fear of God, submit to others, be patience with others, and grow in wisdom
4. Let the old birth the new - In God’s time, you will be blessed. God made Job twice as prosperous than before
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.