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LOSSES.pdf

LOSSES.pdf

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Published by glennpease
THERE is no other loss, in all the range of
possible losses, that is so great as the breaking
of our communion with God. I know that this is
not the ordinary estimate. We speak with heavy
hearts of our earthly sorrows. When bereavements
come and our homes are emptied and our tender
joys are borne away, we think there is no grief
like ours. Our lives are darkened, and very
dreary does this earth appear to us as we walk
its paths in loneliness. The shadow that hangs
about us darkens all the world.
THERE is no other loss, in all the range of
possible losses, that is so great as the breaking
of our communion with God. I know that this is
not the ordinary estimate. We speak with heavy
hearts of our earthly sorrows. When bereavements
come and our homes are emptied and our tender
joys are borne away, we think there is no grief
like ours. Our lives are darkened, and very
dreary does this earth appear to us as we walk
its paths in loneliness. The shadow that hangs
about us darkens all the world.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 30, 2013
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LOSSES.BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D.THERE is no other loss, in all the range of possible losses, that is so great as the breakingof our communion with God. I know that this isnot the ordinary estimate. We speak with heavyhearts of our earthly sorrows. When bereavementscome and our homes are emptied and our tender joys are borne away, we think there is no grief like ours. Our lives are darkened, and verydreary does this earth appear to us as we walk its paths in loneliness. The shadow that hangsabout us darkens all the world.There are other losses — losses of friends byalienation or misunderstanding; losses of prop-erty, of comforts, of health, of reputation; theshattering of beautiful and brilliant hopes, butthere is not one of these that is such a calamityas the loss of God's smile or the interruption of fellowship with him.Men sigh over those misfortunes which touch282LOSSES. 283only their earthly circumstances, but forget thatthe worst of all misfortunes is the decay of spirit-uality in their hearts. It would be well if all of us understood this. There are earthly misfortunesunder which hearts remain all the while w T arm andtender, like the flower-roots beneath the winter's
 
snows, ready to burst into glorious bloom whenthe glad springtime comes. Then there areworldly prosperities under w T hich spiritual lifewithers and dies. Adversity is ofttimes the rich-est of blessings. But the loss of God's smile isalways the sorest of calamities.We do not know what God is to us until welose the sense of his presence and the conscious-ness of his love.This is true, indeed, of all blessings. We donot know their value to us until they are imper-iled or lost. We do not prize health till it isshattered and we begin to realize that we cannever have it restored again. We do not recog-nize the richness of youth until it has fled, withall its glorious opportunities, and w r orlds cannotbuy it back. We do not appreciate the comfortsand blessings of Providence till we have been de-prived of them and are driven out of warm homesinto the cold paths of a dreary world. We do not284 WEEK-DAY RELIGION.estimate the value of our facilities for educationand improvement till the period of these opportu-nities is gone and we must enter the battle of lifeimperfectly equipped. We do not know howmuch our friends are to us till they lie beforeus silent and cold. Ofttimes the empty place orthe deep loneliness about us is the first revealerof the worth of one we failed duly to prize whileby our side.In like manner, we do not know the blessednessof fellowship with God until his face is darkenedor he seems to have withdrawn himself. Jesus
 
was never so precious to the disciples as whenthey had him no more. Two of his friends, in-deed, never openly confessed their love for himuntil his body hung on the cross. They had se-cretly loved him all along, but now, as they sawthat he was dead and that they could never, asthey supposed, do anything more for him or enjoyhis presence again, all their heart's silent loveawoke in them, and they came boldly out andbegged his body, gently took it down in the sightof the multitude, and bore it to loving burial.But for his death they would never have realizedhow much they loved him or how much he wasto them.LOSSES. 285In like manner, David never knew what Godand God's house were to his soul until he wasdriven away from his home and could no moreenter the sanctuary. As he fled away it seemed asif his very heart would break ; yet his deepest sor-row was not for the joys of home left behind — forthrone, crown, palace and honors — but for thehouse of God, with its hallowed and blessed com-munion. All the other bitter griefs and sorrowsof the hour were swallowed up in this greatest of all his griefs — separation from the divine presence.Nor do I believe that the privileges of divine fel-lowship had ever been so precious to him beforewhile he enjoyed them without hindrance or in-terruption as now when he looked from his exiletoward the holy place and could not return to it.Does not the very commonness of our religiousblessings conceal from us their inestimable value?Luther somewhere says, " If, in his gifts and ben-efits, God were more sparing and close-handed, we

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