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“What will you gain when you lose?” It’s the slogan for a weight loss product (Special K?) and a good question, but it’s not a new question. Jesus was trying to ask the very same thing back in His day!
What did the people have to lose? Jesus found many things! Unbelief, unforgiving hearts, fear, hatred, sinful ways, storing up worldly goods, guilt, shame, status, pride, and beliefs in other gods. Jesus even asked some people to give up their possessions, jobs/careers, and livelihoods to follow Him.
Wow. That’s a lot. Why would Jesus ask for so much from people He was trying to help and serve? Because Jesus knew what people could gain when they were willing to lose. Jesus knew these things were preventing people from turning their hearts over to Him and truly following Him; and that true reward would come from living for the Lord, not living for the world.
Things aren’t any different for us today. The same things that got in the way of following Jesus then still get in our way today.
Then he (Jesus) said to the crowd: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process?
Back to the title question : What will you gain when you lose?
Life ebbs and flows,
Things come and go,
Sometimes as planned, Sometimes not,
So make the most of what you’ve got,
Unsure of what tomorrow will bring,
Give thanks today for all good things,
Enjoy the sweetness of moments you hold,
Each moment God gives you is worth more than gold.
And often the times that you wish away,
are times you’ll likely miss someday.
– Renee Myers 9-3-13
This poem was written as I thought about the moments I miss from when the boys were young; but how, at the time, I longed for future days when they would be older and things would be easier. In so doing, I often overlooked the sweetness of those days.
I’d love to go back in time to spend a day at the park with them again, but back in the day, I’d be hot and sweaty, and count the minutes until we could go home. There were times I thought I’d scream if I heard the word “Mom” one more time. Now I’d love to hear it more. There were times I was desperate for just a few minutes of peace and quiet so I could have at least one uninterrupted thought. Now my days are too quiet and I miss the busyness of their childhood.
Having young children was tiring and could sometimes be frustrating, unnerving, and drain me of all my patience. Yet, at the same time, it was the most fulfilling time of my life – cradling babies, holding little hands, hearing little giggles, watching them while they slept and thinking about how precious they were, being the one to wipe their tears, and those oh so priceless moments of huggles, snuggles, and kisses.
It all changes as they grow up, and you know what? The changes are good, too! Here I am wistfully wasting these moments away when I have just as much to cherish now!