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Editor’s Note: Pastor Scott Peterson continues to share devotions from some of his favorite authors.

May 2, 2020 – Blessing in Loss

So, Lord, if thou tak’st from me all the rest,
Thyself with each resumption drawing nigher,
It shall but hurt me as the thorn of the briar,
When I reach to the pale flower in its breast.
To have thee, Lord, is to have all thy best,
Holding it by its very life divine—

To let my friend’s hand go, and take his heart in mine.
–from Diary of an Old Soul by George McDonald

Blessing in Loss by Alvin Rogness

God wants us to have all good. That we know. But it is God who defines the good. And his thoughts are not always our thoughts, nor our ways his ways. It just could be that we become absorbed in all sorts of things that, if not in themselves harmful, still distract us from God and the good he wants us to have.

What would we include in an inventory of good things? Health, certainly. But there have been times when sickness has given us a whole new understanding of blessings we had failed to claim. For most of us, money seems good. Again, there are instances when money, not being used for good purposes, becomes the tyrant and insists on being accumulated and hoarded. People lose the joy of giving it away. Many people think it good to be winners. If that becomes a passion, a person can’t enjoy anyone else who does better, or earns more, or looks better, or is praised more.

It may then be a blessing from God to lose some of the things we count dear. Their loss may even draw us nearer to God himself. We had been counting on these questionable goods for happiness, only to discover when they’re gone that happiness was some other place. God waits in the wings to give us unsuspected comfort and joy. For him to draw nearer is the best blessing of all.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall

be yours as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Alvin Rogness (1906-1992) was president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, from 1955-1974.