Who doesn’t love a colorful welcome mat to make their entry appear warm and inviting?
Cute pots of flowers, stone-made animals, flags that blow in the breeze or wired figures, antique tables, shapes and flags that twirl in the air or blow in the breeze can all brighten our front step.
But there are the things that you definitely do not want on your front steps. Things that are SO not your style, look cheesy or are just clearly, not your taste. Then there are people. Salesmen with flyers and business cards. Solicitors. Brokers who want you to know the latest comps in the neighborhood. Even the adorable neighborhood kids selling wrapping paper for a school fundraiser can create annoyance. Some people and some things just aren’t desirable to have on our welcome mats.
One of them, is loss.
We lose things, though, right? Sometimes it feels as if it’s our sanity :), our needed or beloved job, a favorite series that went off the air (I was crushed when Alias ended and that was years ago), a relationship, a neighborhood, our dear home, aspects of our health, a loved one. Sometimes we lose time or an opportunity. Often we lose sleep,the ability to organize….the list goes on.
Loss is out there–far and wide, other times, close and narrow.
We long for a remedy from those empty spaces that run deep or dryness from the tears, energy to combat the affects of what has been taken, the need for joy to replace the ache.
Are losses blimps on the screen of our lives defined by waiting out the passing of pain with the infamous “this too shall pass” worldly hope?
Or is there a deeper hope? Are losses markers, bigger than blimps, more like hot air balloons, that ultimately inflate us with strength, sensitivity, compassion, perspective and growth rooted in God’s purposes and plans?
To know that loss hangs over the horizon as a known, forthcoming event and is just a matter of time before it darkens our doorstep can carry a level of anxiety that we’d rather not receive nor think about. Other times, loss can broadside us in the present moment, jolting us into a state of shock and even despair. If only keeping the front door closed could block its entry into our lives….wouldn’t that be nice?!
When loss barges in through our front doors, standing on the other side is the One who shares the spot with its pain.
He has not only teamed up with loss, but coached it through till its bitter end.
He feels it. Mourns it. Is familiar with the dark, empty spaces that fill our souls. He knows about suffering. About pain. About what you are up against. He also knows YOU and grieves with you. In His knowledge of knowing you, is the depth of Jesus’ love, care and provision for you through your tears.
Jesus stands on our welcome mats waiting for us to open the door, not so that we can greet the loss but so that we can welcome what He has for us in the loss. We can go through the loss with or without Him.
Which do you prefer?
God may not bring back what you are missing, but He promises to bring something else to you in the process. What that “something” is looks different for each one of us and can only be discovered by opening up the door and setting out our welcome mats for Him. The One who restores. The One who brings healing and hope. The One true God.
What a sight and visit that can be for those of us inside our house feeling hopeless and experiencing what Jesus has for us on His welcome mat.
In our pain, our opening the door can be the best choice we make.
“I, even I, am he who comforts you.” Is 51:12
“I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4
“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; The LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9