February 14, 2021

The Shepherd's Corner


We do not know what awaits us tomorrow.  Harold Russel was a healthy young man when he joined the Army. One day during training, he had an accident that caused him his hands.  Both hands were gone leaving only stumps at the ends of his arms.  He got really discouraged and thought it would be the end of his life, until he met Charley McGonegal, who also lost his hands in World War I.  Mcgonegal encouraged him and told him that the greatest obstacle he ought to overcome was himself.  He must conquer his bitterness.

McGonegal, then, shared a quotation from the great American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”  These words of encouragement helped Harold Russel get back on his feet.  He later became a moving-picture star and a best-selling author and married his childhood sweetheart.

I cannot help but keep thinking of the profoundly wise words of Ralf Waldo Emerson. How true!  When I look back upon my life and the losses I have experienced, I can find gains.  Conversely, I find that what comes next after gains are losses.  The fact that what comes next after gains are loses is not because of a principle of balance but rather it is a fact of living in an imperfect world.  Gains are costly and sometimes the cost offset the gains.  There is no free lunch.

But for everything we have missed, we have gained something else shows that there is a loving God who cares for us, His children.  He replaces what we have lost with something else, and sometimes it is even better than what we have missed.  So, accept the loss and expect the gain.  There is always something to be gained.  God does not and cannot be stopped by losses; His plan moves on far beyond.

Pastor Paul

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