I’ve been dealing with a lot of last times lately. Last times are hard. My middle daughter just finished performing in the school version of the musical Les Miserables. Sunday night was her last time performing. All the kids had lots of tears through out the show and at the end. They had performed it a total of 12 times. I help with costumes and as many of the leads turned in their pieces I would hear them say, “My last time,” sadly. It was my last time too, hearing their beautiful voices singing, “Do you hear the people sing?”- and having chills every time. Les Miserables is my favorite Broadway play and God allowing my daughter to perform in it was a gift. I too was sad it was over. But thankful that God allowed me to to be a part of it.
Loss of anything is hard. When you know a last time is coming, like the last time you said goodbye to a loved one on this earth. It is really hard. I think its even harder when you don’t know it’s coming when that last time was missed like the last time you changed a diaper or fed a bottle or saw a friend.
Joyce Meyers says in her Everyday Bible on the subject of Ruth that ” Loss does not mean everything in your life is over, just that one part of it has ended. One season has passed and another can now begin, if you are willing to believe that you can now go forward.”
Going forward, putting one foot in front of the other is essentially what Ruth did when her mother-in-law Naomi decided to go to her home in Bethlehem. She told Ruth and her sister -in-law Orpah to go back to their homes in the country of Moab and she would return to her home in Bethlehem. But Ruth clung to Naomi and said, “where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16 AMP)”
And you know what, Ruth was blessed with a new story. She was given a new husband and a child in the lineage of Christ. All because she choose to move forward and not abandon her mother-in-law.
Meyers states, “God promises to be with you in trouble. While you are waiting for him to deliver you, you can be comforted knowing he is with you and working on your behalf.” (pg410)
Even in loss and pain God is working on your behalf for good. He promises to redeem you, just as he did Ruth. He says in Joel 2:25 ” And I will compensate you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God who has dealt wondrously with you, and my people shall neve be put to shame.”
In our losses we will never be put to shame. I believe God redeems us also for the losses we endure. Be thankful for the gifts in the midsts of your losses is helpful in moving forward. But realizing in every end there is a new beginning will help you continue.