MARCH 2023

How Much Have You Gained?

By Stacee Helton

March 12, 2023 

I awoke this morning to the realization that an hour of sleep had been taken away during the night due to the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. We had indeed “sprung forward” while I slept, and this morning, my tired eyes seem to be on a mission to go back in and find that missing hour! While the extra-long time with the sun in the evenings is something to look forward to (and is much better than darkness setting in at 4pm, in my personal opinion), in order to enjoy the gift of extra daylight, we have to give up a little sleep, in return. As some folks already know, once I’m awake… I’m awake. This early bird wakes up with the sun and is ready to go! However, mornings after the time change do seem to require a second cup of coffee. Whether you agree with changing our clocks twice per year or not, I think we can all agree that today we will all want to take a Sunday nap! 

This morning (while still on my first cup), I’m spending some time thinking about the idea of losing, in order to gain. We lose weight, in an effort to gain the freedom that comes with less joint pain, or to have lower blood pressure, or blood sugar. We lose successful careers sometimes, to gain happiness and less stress. As women, we lose our last name (if we choose), and sometimes, even our own identity when we gain the new name of “wife” and maybe even “mommy”. (And we sure can lose a lot of sleep in those first few “mommy years”... but we gain the smiles in the middle of the night and all of the snuggles and singing and rocking and times that feel like forever, until the babies grow up, and you realize it was actually a very short amount of time). Don’t worry…we do eventually find ourselves again. We may lose some relationships along the way, but through that loss we might gain some peace and hopefully some healing, as a result. The hardest loss is saying “goodbye” to our loved ones here on Earth, but we gain the hope of seeing them again one day in Heaven. 

My husband has been singing in church for as long as I’ve known him. In his late teens/early 20’s, he often sang the Phillips, Craig and Dean song “Crucified with Christ”. The lyrics (taken from Galatians 2:20) still play in my head often, but definitely today as I’m thinking about this idea of losing, in order to gain. “And I will offer all I have, so that His cross is not in vain. For I found to live is Christ, and to die is truly gain. For I am crucified with Christ, and yet I live. Not I, but Christ that lives within me. His cross will never ask for more than I can give… for it’s not my strength, but His. There’s no greater sacrifice. For I am crucified with Christ, and yet I live”

I believe the greatest example of “loss for gain” is Jesus, giving up his Earthly life, so that we might gain abundant and eternal life. He willingly endured a horrific death, so that we would have a chance at spending forever with Him. (And true to His word, He rose again, just as He promised!). With Easter season approaching, let’s take some time to remember that we gain nothing in life without some element of cost involved. We can be thankful that Jesus paid that cost for us…giving up much, so that we could gain everything! I’m adding a link to the song I referenced above. Now, to get ready for church, and find some rest this afternoon! Have a wonderful Sunday!