Loss and Gain

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).

It has been a hard year. The losses have accumulated one after another. In just over a year’s time, five of our family members have gone to their rest, including Sean’s mother, uncle and aunt and most recently, both of my parents.

I was still mourning the loss of my mother when my father passed away a few months afterward. Deep relational wounds that surfaced among relatives magnified the pain of these deaths. The anguish has threatened to overwhelm me at times, but God is bringing healing through remembering.

I remember my dad wondering aloud why Sean and I had chosen a difficult path in a far-away land. He came to accept that we had counted the cost and had found peace in following our Shepherd wherever He led us. Though my parents belonged to another denomination, in time they supported our work and visited us in Albania. More recently, they were looking forward to the opening of the outreach center and often asked about its progress. We talked about our Albanian friends so much, they felt they knew each of them. They prayed for them, and they loved them. Our Albanian friends felt the same about my parents, although most had never met them. They asked about them and prayed for them often.

I remember how the enemy’s assaults always intensified just before God moved in powerful and amazing ways. A few times, we had faced giants. It was as though we were targeted, and we were sorely tempted to turn back at crucial moments, yet our Shepherd’s voice was clear: “Keep going forward.”

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps. 126:5, 6).

I look forward to that glorious day when I will be reunited with my loved ones at the feet of Jesus, and they can meet those they have prayed for and loved from afar. What a day of rejoicing that will be!

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