A Father’s Response

A Father’s Response

Carlos Ortiz

June 19, 2022

I really only have 3 questions for us today, and what we can learn from these questions:

How do we respond to loss?

  • wildfires/floods     – senseless violence 
  • Death         – economic downturns 
  • Unrealized expectations 

II Samuel 12:16-17 – 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

We may all respond differently to loss, but we all face loss, and we all do respond. 

[Enslaved people] would make the dense old woods, for miles around, reverberate with their wild songs, revealing at once the highest joy and the deepest sadness. They would compose and sing as they went along, consulting neither time nor tune. The thought that came up, came out — if not in the word, in the sound — and as frequently in the one as in the other. They would sometimes sing the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone, and the most rapturous sentiment in the most pathetic tone.… They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. 

  • From Fredrick Douglass’ 1845 Memoir

How does God respond to our loss?

God is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy lading, and I will give you rest. “

Matthew 11:29

On the back end of our loss there is a potential to see a clear path that God lays out for us.“

2 Stories of Loss – Joel and Acts 

I will pour my spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants both men and women, I will pour out my spirit in these days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs on the earth below…

… And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:17-19; 21

1 – in the book of Joel the nation of Israel has lost everything because of an infestation of locusts. There are three main things they lose that are culturally important: grain, wine, oil

2 – followers of Jesus have now had two Traumatic experiences: the death of Jesus (fear/loss/uncertainty), the ascension of Jesus back to heaven (second loss that leads to a feeling of powerlessness)

In both stories there is tension, loss, and God’s heart strings are tugged:

– there is a promise to restore the elements to Israel

– there’s a promise of the Holy Spirit to bring comfort to Jesus‘s disciples

BUT… God is not interested in our stuff… He’s passionate about us. So he promises a second part that is more powerful, the promise to be with us:

I will pour my spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants both men and women, I will pour out my spirit in these days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs on the earth below…

… And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:17-19; 21

What are you afraid to lose?

John 12:24 – “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. “

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