Loss and Gain

I've been thinking a lot about loss lately.  This particular period of time following our arrival here in the DRC has quite naturally been filled with the sense of loss concerning many things.  We have "lost" our country and culture (again), my parents and siblings, our kids and grandson, friends, church, primary language, points of reference, accustomed roles, work and ministries.  There have been moments in the last 8 weeks when all I could feel was the  loss and death of me, the me I have been until now.  Don't get me wrong, I've been through this before both when we first went to France and then when we returned to Canada.  I KNEW it would be like this.  But the death of your life as you know it is neither comfortable or enjoyable.  I do recognize though that if the seed doesn't die as it goes into the ground then it can't live and be renewed and bear fruit.
So today, I choose to die to all that has come before in order to allow Christ to be born in  me in my new context.  Just as Christ did not refuse to set aside his former self as He came as a missionary to us, I too relinquish mine not just for my sake but for the sake of the gospel and the kingdom of Christ.  So what appears to be loss is really about gain.  And the gain is so much greater than the loss.  So with Paul I say, "I once thought these things were valuable (gain), but now I consider them worthless (loss) because of what Christ has done.  Yes everything is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing (and making  known) Christ Jesus my Lord.   For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him ... but I focus on this one thing : Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."


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