Daily Riches: Catastrophic Loss and the Growth of the Soul (Jerry Sittser and Pete Scazzero)

“If normal, natural, reversible loss is like a broken limb, then catastrophic loss is like an amputation. …Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery. It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. There is no going back to the past, which is gone forever, only going ahead to the future, which has yet to be discovered. Whatever that future is, it will, and must, include the pain of the past with it. Sorrow never entirely leaves the soul of those who have suffered a severe loss. If anything, it may keep going deeper. But this depth of sorrow in the sign of a healthy soul, not a sick soul. It does not have to be morbid and fatalistic. It is not something to escape but something to embrace. Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ Sorrow indicates that people who have suffered loss are living authentically in a world of misery, and it expresses the emotional anguish of people who feel pain for themselves and others. Sorrow is noble and gracious. It enlarges the soul until the soul is capable of mourning and rejoicing simultaneously [just like God] of feeling the world’s pain and hoping for the world’s healing at the same time [just like God]. However painful, sorrow is good for the soul. …No matter how deep the pit into which I descend, I keep finding God there. He is not aloof from my suffering but draws near to me when I suffer.” Jerry Sittser [bracketed phrases by Pete Scazzero]

“In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus in John 16:33

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Is your sorrow ever-present? Is it destroying you or transforming you?
  • Have you “embraced” your loss and sorrow as “a grace disguised?” Is it helping you to live more “authentically in a world of misery?”
  • Has your soul been “enlarged?” Are you more capable of mourning and rejoicing simultaneously [just like God], of feeling the world’s pain and hoping for the world’s healing at the same time [just like God]?”

Abba, thank you for your sometimes exceedingly painful gifts. I depend on your drawing near in the pit. Help me to live and love authentically in a world of misery.

For More: A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”