Don’t you just hate it when you lose things? The other day I lost the crochet hook for a jumper I’m working on, so I couldn’t get on with it. I couldn’t settle. Looked under all the chairs, went through my bag, down all the cushions…got grumpy…(yes I do sometimes!!!) I had to give up on it, and felt really out of sorts. And that was just a crochet hook for goodness sake! Next time I looked in my work bag, there was the hook! All was well with the world once again.
Losing a simple thing like a crochet hook, or your keys, or your phone is annoying. Losing your job, or your health or a major investment is catastrophic. Losing a person is devastating. Losing someone you really, really love is…beyond words.
Jacob was understandably distraught beyond words when they brought him Joseph’s robe, covered in blood (Genesis 37:32-35). Naturally, he jumped to the conclusion that his precious son Joseph had met his end, devoured by some ferocious animal. He refused to be comforted, and expected to continue in a grieving state until his own death. Long before the days of talking therapies and antidepressants, Jacob decided to hold onto his grief.
Nevertheless, time does heal, as they say, and in chapter 42, a good many years later, he was holding sway in his household once again, ordering his sons to go to Egypt for grain “that we may live and not die”. And of course, in Genesis 46:29 he was finally reunited with Joseph.
This story does have a happy ending. Most people who lose loved ones don’t get that. Yet life does go on. Healing of a sort does take place within us whether we expect it to or not. So, too, with the major losses of life – redundancy, divorce, bankruptcy and so on. Huge though they are, God has made us able to heal emotionally, given a supportive environment – people round us who genuinely care, and a little bit of help where we need it. And in time his promises never to leave us or forsake us will come real.
For most of us, most of the time our losses are generally relatively trivial, yet they can so easily get us down! Isn’t it good to know we have a God who is interested in every aspect of our lives, and we can trust him through good times and bad. Maybe I should remember that next time I get cross over losing my crochet hook! I love the slogan that says, “Google and God know everything about you; but only God cares.”