What do we do with the losses? Where do they go? Are there emotional injuries that can never heal?
A singer-songwriter used moving lyrics and music to describe the way that many of us feel as we move through life and find that losses build up, without resolution or healing:
“I left a trail of footprints deep in the snow
I swore one day I would retrace them
But when I turned around I found that the wind
Had erased them
Now I’ll never replace them” (“The Last Nail,” © ℗ 1975, Daniel Fogelberg, 1951-2007).
A once-murderous and ambitious religious cleric turned humble preacher announces, in beautiful and Spirit-inspired prose, the Epiphany of a New Hope that gives meaning and purpose to even the most lost of causes:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ESV).
As F.F. Bruce surmised, the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “made life worth living” (Apostle of the Heart Set Free, 71). St. Paul’s past pains became the story for Christ’s glorious resurrection power applied to his life. And he was merely the model for so many others who would experience the same kind of transformation and healing (1 Timothy 1: 16).
Perhaps, the Spirit will use His own Word to bring a new Epiphany to someone reading these words, so that one may come to see that in Jesus Christ everyone old is new again. In this epiphany, they will be made new from the inside-out. Then, they, too, will join the wondrous and resounding cry, “Paradise is being restored and in the resurrection of our God and Savior Jesus Christ this work is already underway!” The healing of some injuries and the recovery of some losses in your past will be known in this life. Not all. Some await the fullness of Paradise Regained. Yet, this is always true: in Christ, the very things that sought to destroy you become the things in the hands of a loving God that lead you home.
Sproul, R. C. and Keith A. Mathison. The Reformation Study Bible : English Standard Version, Containing the Old and New Testaments. Orlando, Fla., Phillipsburg, N.J.: Ligonier Ministries. Produced and distributed by Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 2005.
Bruce, F. F. Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free. 1st American ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977.
Fogelberg, Dan. “Captured Angel.” sound recording. New York, N.Y.: Epic/Full Moon, 1975.