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Safe Haven
Photo: Garann Means
Despite the best efforts of the emergency room team, the patient’s heart stopped and was not able to be revived. When the distraught spouse arrived at the hospital, she took one look at her dead husband and said to him, “Now look what you’ve done! Just look at the mess you’ve made! You should have taken better care of yourself! Now, what am I going to do?”

Although this certainly isn’t a typical reaction to the death of a loved one, it does reveal some normal underlying emotions. When a loved one dies, or we experience some other significant loss, it’s perfectly normal to feel frightened, insecure, confused and alone.

One weekend I drove to Riverside, California for an afternoon program. While sitting in the comfortably air conditioned building enjoying the event, the master of ceremonies made her way to the microphone and announced we needed to move our cars from the parking lot because the house behind us was on fire!

We rushed outside. Milling around the lot, we watched as the warm Santa Ana winds whipped the flames toward our structure. Palm trees went up like torches. Several hours later, a family’s home was gutted out and blackened. Even the cars in the driveway were destroyed. A lone hot water heater spewed water over the charred mess.

Imagine the Shock

One can only imagine the shock, grief and confusion of the vacationing family, when they returned to find they were homeless with all their earthly possessions burnt beyond recognition. 

Hopefully, most of us will never experience a loss of this magnitude. Yet, even small, unexpected losses produce anxiety and can sometimes be stressful enough to throw us off course.

But, whether our losses are small or great, there is a place we can go, a person we can turn to in our disappointment and confusion:  “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you. For you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9: 9-10).

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ©.

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