There are certain thing that only become truly ours when we have lost them for a while. There are joys that will never be internalized and made fully ours until they have first gone through the cloud of grief. So many times we’re like Philemon in that it is our losses that ultimately come to enrich us. Far too often we hold a faith only because we were born with it and as a result we fail to realize its true value. But when there comes a cloud for a season which removes it from our sight for a while, suddenly we understand it is precious and therefore come to cherish it. We wake to the knowledge that we have held a diamond in our hand. We’ve been rich without the realization of our riches and we would given and entire world to hold once again what just the day before we tossed away.
That’s why I have come to believe that it is sometimes better for us to know the value of our faith without holding it than to hold it and not realize its worth. It is better to cry out to Christ who you believe has left your presence than to have Him standing before you and consider it a common or even worthless thing. Because, you see, a simple cry will bring Him back. Your need for Him is simply evidence of Him in you. That’s why when you cry out for Him He will be there immediately and will no longer be dismissed but cherished; no longer will He be something extraneous but essential to your very life. He’ll no longer just be with you on Sunday, but will be with you forever.
I long for the Lord to show me how to win through losing. So many times I have thought and talked about the silver lining in the cloud, but I am coming to realize that it actually the cloud that is the silver lining of my life. You see, my life has no color until the cloud comes. It is in the moment of its absence that I recognize my angel.
There are some who think that they sense the Lord’s presence in what He gives. However, I believe that I see Him most of all through what He takes away. It is when the veil is torn in two that I realize that He has returned for me. His gift becomes most precious and cherished when He covers it with His hand. That’s why I agree with Philemon – it is for my benefit that He has gone away. Sometimes the gifts that He gives are too close to be appreciated. That’s why my love must be trained by loss, my faith has been enlarged by the shadow, my morning has to be seen by night. He has made me stretch out my hands to touch what was before untouched. He hid Himself behind the curtain to teach me to cry out for Him. I could not understand or appreciate the blessing that He had given until it had been removed for a while.