----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:38 AM
Subject: Great loss, Great gain
We recently lost a loved one in our family, my dear Aunt Grace. As we visited with other family around the events of the funeral and visitation I reflected on this great loss. It occurred to me that it would be difficult to consider a great loss like this without realizing that there had been "great gain" that made the loss so painful. Gain and loss are opposite sides of the same coin of life. Great gain showed up in several ways for Aunt Grace. My Uncle Dick had known Aunt Grace since high school and after his military service in World War II they married, finished college on the GI Bill and raised four sons (born in three decades). As I sat next to Uncle Dick during the funeral service in their small church he wept freely and at one point said: "Oh I am going to miss her so much." Great loss...but this great loss crowned such great gain over 70 years.
Our faith in Jesus Christ is great gain but it is directly linked to great loss. Jesus left his father in Heaven and came to live and die as a man so that the only perfectly lived life could be offered as a sacrifice for each of our sinful lives. Without Christ our lives are ultimately destined for great loss. And apart from a living relationship with Christ we live in 'lostness'. But with Christ we have great gain. His journey to reach us cost him everything. Our response to his outreach restores us to the father and we have the promise of eternal life.
There is grief in great loss, as the grief of losing Aunt Grace. Four sons and their father grieve today. There has been a loss of life, an ending of a lifetime of marriage, a farewell to a loving mother, garden club friends have lost one of their dearest friends and there is one less congregant in the pew.
But we all must ultimately experience the great loss of this life if we are to be transported to the great gain of Heaven! There can be no great gain without great loss.
Philippians 3:7 "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ."