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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

What Have You Lost That You Long to Have Back?

Several years ago, I discovered a keyboard shortcut that has rescued me countless times: CTRL+ Z.

Do you know about this little sanity saver?

There you are, merrily typing away and just about to finish your lengthy email message or Word doc when whoosh!... your last sentence or an entire paragraph disappears. What happened?! Maybe your cat waltzed over your keyboard or you accidentally hit Delete or the phase of the moon was wrong. It’s frustrating to literally lose your thoughts.

Never fear, CTRL + Z to the rescue! Holding those two keys down simultaneously restores what was lost.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone could invent that same option for our offline lives?

You lose your keys, your cellphone, or that very important piece of paper and presto chango, CTRL+Z, you get them back.

You lose a relationship that you cherished due to a misunderstanding or distance or disagreement but CTRL+Z, it’s magically restored.

You lose your own memories due to illness or stress or the march of time but no worries. There’s CTRL +Z to recover your fading mental functions.

God cares about us, and He cares about lost things.

In the gospels, Jesus teaches his followers through parables featuring a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son (Luke 15). In another passage, he reminds us that he put on flesh not to reform the culture but to redeem the world (Luke 19:10.) The whole of Scripture tells us again and again that God cares about our very lostness.

This past week, our niece Karen lost both her beloved mother- and father-in-law to a sudden onset of illness, a tragedy currently shared by many around the world. At 73, they passed from this world to the next only 48 hours apart.

Our hearts are shattered at this immense loss for Karen, Brad and their children. One week their lively, vital parents and grandparents were making plans to leave to join them for Christmas. The next week, they left for eternity.

The loss is immense. Margaret and Tom can never be replaced. There is no CTRL+Z for physical death.

Or is there?

“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25

When the Apostle Paul knew that his death was imminent, he wrote “the time for my departure is close.” (2 Tim. 4:6).

“The word for ‘departure’ is analysis. It comes from the verb analyo, which literally meant ‘unloose.’ The noun was used for the ‘loosing’ of a vessel from its moorings or of soldiers ‘breaking up camp’ for departure. Paul was about ready to ‘strike tent’ (leave his physical body) and forsake this earth for the presence of his Lord.” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Writing on this passage, Bible study teacher and author Beth Moore comments:

“When our God-appointed times come and our beating hearts still, death will not mean losing. It will mean loosing. The gravity that pins our feet to this world has no hold on our souls.” (Entrusted, p. 162).

We experienced great heartache this past year. You likely have as well. What we would give for those we have loved to be restored to us!

There is no CTRL +Z for such loss, but there is this: Our recognition of the Great Unloosing.

Those who have been lost to us are in His keeping.

And they are well-kept, friends.

As are we.

(c) 2022 Maggie Wallem Rowe


Maggie Rowe is a dramatist and speaker who writes from Peace Ridge, her home in the mountains of western North Carolina. Her first book, This Life We Share, was published by NavPress in 2020. Her next book, Life is Sweet, Y'all, will release from Tyndale House this March and is available for pre-order anywhere books are sold.



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