Necessary Losses: Leaving, Losing and Letting Go
Genesis 12:1; 17:18; 22:2
Losing is a necessary part of living. We grow up by giving up. That is the message of Necessary Losses, a book by Judith Viorst about the things we must leave, lose and let go of in order to grow-- loves, illusions, dependencies, impossible expectations.
When we think of loss, we usually think of loss through death, a tragic loss of someone we love. But not all losses are tragic. Loss can be a promotion rather than an interruption, for the road to maturity is paved with renunciation. We must leave our childhood to enter adulthood. We must let go of illusions if we are to grasp reality. A man must leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, says the bible. You can't cleave if you don't leave. We leave home to make a home.
This is especially true of the Christian life and the story of Abraham portrays it vividly. From God's first call to His final promise, faith was for Abraham a "letting go" in order to "take hold." To live out the purpose of God, he incurred necessary losses--leaving, losing and letting go.
A Land to Leave
God's first word to Abraham was, "Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land I will show you.. .So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him" (Genesis 12:1, 4).
Leaving the land meant that Abraham was to abandon all natural roots, to disentangle himself from any and all present ties, to leave the things that gave him security and identity. Abraham would become a nomad, a sojourner, a pilgrim---- an exile.
When God calls us to Himself, He also calls us from the world. No longer a part of this world, we are in the world, but not of it. As He did with Abraham, God calls us to leave behind the worldly pressures that keep us from being what He wants us to be. He isolates us so that He alone may be the influence that shapes and molds our life.
God has a new land for Abraham ...
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