Christmas is typically a happy time for growing families. But for some people, Christmas is a sad time–made sadder because it used to be a happy time for them as well.
Think of those who spend Christmas alone. Maybe a widow or widower. The aging parent, abandoned in nursing homes. A father who lost the custody battle. A soldier abroad. A student living out of state. A runaway son or daughter. An orphan. A street person.
For Christians, this life is a refining process. In this life we keep losing things. Youth, health, people and places. We lose things we had, as well as things we might have had–lost opportunities. We lose things we miss, as well as things we’re glad to put behind us.
You can’t miss something until you lose it. You can’t fully appreciate how good something was until it’s gone.
When life is good, we have such an abundance of blessings that it’s hard to fully appreciate each individual blessing. Hard to isolate each blessing and squeeze all the good that’s contained in just one blessing at a time. For the blessings blend together. We lose count of where one ends and another begins.
When we begin to lose the things in life that make life worthwhile, it’s only then that we’re in a position to fully appreciate the true worth of what we had. You must lose what you love to love what you lose. And then you're ready to have it back. The separation prepares you for the reunion.
In heaven we will have the pure silver without the dross. Life burns away the dross, separating the silver from the dross, so all that remains is polished silver in the world to come.