Identity and Loss vs. Value
Hi friends. I have been dialoging with the Lord about an experience I had recently where I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do or how I was supposed to feel. It has to do with something that I poured my life into in the past and how God used me. So, I pondered if I had regret at what could have been. But, I didn’t have any feelings of maybe I coulda, woulda or shoulda done something differently. So, after I prayed about it, yielded all my emotions to God, and released any judgement I had formed about the situation, I called my parents. They always give me wise counsel. They helped me nail down how I was feeling and why. Thanks Mom and Dad! I was feeling loss. So let’s talk about loss.
Loss = the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone/something of value.
This is not the type of loss I am talking about…
Even the best experiences we’ve had, where we have seen God work mightily through us can bring up feelings of having lost something. But, for whatever reason, there are times God directs us to stop doing something, and just put it up on a shelf. The lessons and anointing of what He teaches us never leaves, only the outward expression of how He has us share it. It may be the grief of knowing an area we have experience in and a heart for, isn’t being done to its full potential. Or, there is confusion and discomfort because we know we have value from our own experience that we could add to help enrich the situation, but God hasn’t directed us to do so.
We naturally experience loss at the death of a loved one. But, we also feel a sense of loss even though we have not been deprived of the value of something. It is really quite the opposite. In our walk with the Lord, He will always lead us into uncharted territory, to help us grow in wisdom and endurance for the course He has us on. Along the way, we discover more about who He is and who we are. And in trusting Him, we chose to take a blind leap of faith. What a thrill ride! Stepping out is the scariest feeling, but it is the only way we experience God’s hand moving on our behalf. At first, it is in the small things. But then, faith grows and we know if we choose to follow what God is leading, then the outcome will always be according to His purpose. But, like every other journey, our life goes through seasons and through rough and smooth terrain. We often feel a sense of loss through times of change. Even though it may seem like we have been deprived of something, when our life is yielded to Christ, we will only be led to increased value.
It is not in God’s nature to take goodness and value from us.
The longer our walk with the Lord in this life, the more our experiences will just seem like water under a bridge. We see someone doing something for the Lord, and we remember when we did that. It is something that is still in our heart. We could have been a well-known, leading specialist in that area… maybe. But now, we are in a new season and are unknown. It is natural that we feel value connected to being known. Think of the change that takes place when people retire from positions with titles of authority.
We may have discovered some of the purpose God has for us. Maybe we have seen God work the impossible through times of obedience to Him and felt His anointing in some area. But for whatever reason, He had us put an aspect of it aside. We never made the decision to stop doing this thing, but something changed and suddenly God had us focus on something else.
The feeling of this type of loss is precisely what I was experiencing. I was unable to identify and separate the swirl of emotion that was raging within me! After some wise counsel from my folks and a time-out for me to have a one on one with God, I began to understand what was happening. The lessons and anointing of what God did with me before were never put on a shelf, only the outward expression of how it shows up in my life has changed. A specific activity and season of my life did cease, but His truth and passion through it continues to be part of me.
My identity isn’t in the gifts or skills, but they have become second nature. It could be compared to muscle memory that an athlete develops. My identity is in Jesus. And when I see this gift being displayed in front of me, I simply close my eyes to focus on what Jesus is leading me to do now. Truthfully, it isn’t easy. Likewise, a change of season is not always easy.
In the Spiritual, God doesn’t retire us. As we journey through life, He leads us through different terrain and through different seasons. At times He has us pick up things along the way that are useful, and then other times put down things that will just weigh us down.
Again, it is not in God’s nature to take goodness and value from us.
The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come. -Proverbs 4:18 (Good News Bible)
God will continue to work in our life and lead us forward into new things.
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Phillipians 1:6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)