Are you missing someone who no longer is close by? Perhaps you are a parent whose child has gone to college or struck out on his or her own. Or maybe you are a son or daughter whose parents have moved to a distant retirement community. Or a single person whose friends have married, leaving you feeling adrift.
While we may tend to grieve over such situations, we can instead see these times as opportunities for gain-through spiritual growth.
This is where the Bible helps. Christ Jesus promised his disciples, shortly before he was to leave them, "I will not leave you comfortless" (John 14:18). The sense of loss they felt after his crucifixion would become a gain in his ascension, in that the spiritual understanding it prompted enabled them to perpetuate the Christian healing method that he taught. The final result of Jesus' promise was the discovery of divine Science, the Science of the Christ, which offers healing to every troubled situation, including those of loss and grief.
Christian Science, discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, shows that all that is real is of God, who is Spirit, and that nothing that is spiritual can be lost. Anyone we find ourselves missing is really a spiritual son or daughter of God, existing in God, ever-present Life and Love, and expressing Him. There is no place for sorrow in God. His love can only bless us and our loved ones, whether we're near or far apart. Time and distance have no bearing on the availability of God's love to us, since He is eternal and always present. Understanding and accepting these facts, we gain a clearer concept of the grandness of God's family.
My wife and I expected our two sons to leave the nest eventually-but not within months of each other! The house was too quiet. I wished we had a couple more kids to raise.
We had learned that prayer to God for guidance would provide a satisfying solution to feelings of loss. For prayer to be effective, we knew, it must be based on a spiritual understanding of God and of the relation of each loved one to Him.
Christian Science shows that God is all-wise and all-loving; that He is the divine Parent of us all; that He cares for us and knows what is best for us. Recognizing God's guidance for all His children as unerring, we can turn our loved ones over to Him and feel good, happy that they are safe in God. Our prayer will reveal His care for all people, no matter where they live. God will neither leave us in a burdensome situation nor permit disappointment to poison our moments and days. It's only when we try to take over for God-doubt His care-that we may lose our way and feel loss. But even then, we can reverse direction by understanding that our loved ones are under His care.
My wife and I knew that we could trust God. We knew that God would provide ideas for us that would make our own adjustment harmonious. Soon a friend of one son asked if he could move into one of our empty rooms. Shortly after that, a student from a nearby college asked to rent another room. During the next few years, neither room was empty for long. The people who rented the rooms appreciated finding a sense of family and home, as they were far from their own families. They had their meals with us and brought their girlfriends to visit-one even proposed to his future wife in our living room. We loved them as though they were our own children!
A few years later, first one, then the other son, returned home after college-one with a dear wife.
In Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy made this statement: "Spirit's senses are without pain, and they are forever at peace. Nothing can hide from them the harmony of all things and the might and permanence of Truth" (pp. 214-215). God provides only peace and comfort between loved ones, not sadness and longing. There's never an occasion to feel loss when we know that our all-harmonious God is in control.
He hath said,
I will never leave thee,
nor forsake thee.