No More Goodbyes

by Jan 3, 2020Article

No More Goodbyes

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 

It’s a few days after Christmas and our tree is still up and there are piles of post Christmas glory and wreckage everywhere. The needles are starting to fall from our tree but I am not ready to concede defeat that the Christmas season has passed. I want to linger in the lights and the fragrance of Christmas spice and Fraser Fir. My house still looks like a tornado hit a children’s store and there are toys, towels and treats scattered everywhere in various stages of use. This can only mean one thing – that some of our grandbabies and adult children were under our roof.

The glorious mess is unapologetically delightful because we were caught up in the whirlwind of their daily lives. Joe and I are amazed at the patience and resilience and attentive love of our adult kids parenting their kids. We keep saying to each other in admiration as we observe them…”We don’t know how they do it”, even though, obviously, we did it before them, but surely not as well. We think that we were never nearly so smart or patient or such a parenting team as Ben and Jobi or Brandon and Chrissy. Trust me – together these couples are
a parenting force to be reckoned with.

Visits from our family are something that Joe and I wait for and look forward to all year. I admit….we count down the days until we are face to face again. It’s sometimes heart wrenching to say goodbye – when they leave, we comfort ourselves by rehearsing how soon it will be until we see them again . There is a certain physical, almost visceral, longing in the heart of a grandparent when their kids live far away. I’m sure that you experience this longing when you miss your loved ones. Maybe you have had to say goodbye to a very significant person in your life whose death has left an empty place in your heart and at
your table and the grief has been a heavy weight this holiday season.

As I have experienced this longing in my soul to be present with our family, there is an echo in my heart of a realization of a longing for Heaven. There is coming a day when I will not have to say goodbye to my loved ones who know Jesus. Because of Jesus, goodbyes and even death itself don’t have the final say. We are made in the image of God Who existed before time in relationship with the Trinity. We were created for deepest soul connection in relationship with Him first, and then others. The Westminster catechism says that we were made to know God and enjoy Him forever.

Lord, be with us this new year and help us to embrace wonderful times of fellowship with family and friends. Thank you that there is coming a day of no goodbyes – what a glorious day that will be!

So, in this world, the end of a visit with family always leaves me with a bittersweet ache and loneliness when they leave. C. S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” The longings that we experience for those we love are because God first loved us. Those longings can be a signpost and point our way to God. When we are lonely for those we love that are far away or that we have lost in death, the best comfort is to run into the arms of our Good Father Who is always Present. He has said ” I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb. 13:5

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