The most obvious example is death. Relationships are unique, and quite frankly, people can’t be replaced. I can’t ever say that I’ve felt recompensed by forming new relationships after I lose someone to death. For example, many people introduced me to their grandparents in order to fill the void I felt when mine away when I was between 12 and 14 (most of this was inspired by losing both of my grandfathers 9 months apart). I’m glad I met them and am forever grateful for their generosity and the wisdom and kindness they showed me, but none of them could replace my actual grandparents. It’s the same with making new friends after one has passed away. Of course the relationships are a blessing, but I’ve never said “yep, this makes up for so and so passing away last year.” The same applies to pets. I love Bubbles, but she’s no Ollie replacement. She’s a unique bird with traits unlike any other bird I’ve ever had. But we’ll always love and miss Ollie.
This can apply to other things, too. My job move in 2010 separated me from two good friends that helped and supported me through many things. Sure, I’ve met other people, and made other friends, but none like them. We’re still in contact, but it isn’t the same as the day to day interactions we had before, and there are times when we all still miss it. Other friendships have waned to varying life circumstances taking us apart. Then there’s the thing we’ve all experienced with stores we love closing, or products we like being discontinued. New places and things may come and sometimes they are an improvement, but there are usually some unique traits or aspects of what’s lost that can’t be replaced.
Then there’s the “you can never go back” thing. Loss changes us, as well it should. There are some things that should shift your paradigm and cause you to rethink what you know, and if they don’t then there’s something wrong with you. In that way, loss can pave the way to positive change, but there’s no way to be truly compensated for your loss, because perhaps you’ve lost something that needs to be gone and replaced with something wholly new.
Therein lies my point. I think it’s more accurate to say that the Lord will restore you, instead of recompense. I think we tend to misinterpret these scriptures to assume a tit-for-tat transaction when in fact, we’re being put on a different path altogether where that isn’t possible. He’ll give you new blessings in your present and future, but you can’t be the same person you were yesterday. What has no place in this world or in your life simply can’t come back, so loss really is about making room for new, more appropriate blessings for the path you’re on. The Israelites came back from exile with an entirely different perspective, and while they did rebuild, they were changed people.
That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t miss what’s lost. It’s natural to grieve, and to have times of nostalgia. But those times should also prompt us to consider our current blessings, and the better places we can go from here.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.