I know that I know that I know that we are made for eternity. There’s a longing in every human heart for stability, for permanence, for things to be predictable and steady. In the swirl and chaos of how fickle this life can be, all of us look for a rock on which to plant our feet – something solid, something dependable, something that will last. I see this in myself; I see it in others. It’s built into our very DNA as human beings. It’s how God made us.
A couple of months ago Peter and I were visiting our son, Simeon, his wife Heather, and their 3 beautiful little girls. They live far away in Kansas City, Missouri, so when we go to see them several times a year we often plan an extended stay of 10 to 14 days. On the last evening of our visit this past September, Peter and I were saying bedtime prayers with Sophie (6) and Alivia (4). As we were cuddling on the side of the bed, Alivia, put her warm little arms around my neck and said in her most endearing way, “I wuv you Gwamma and I wish you could stay heeoo fowever.” My heart melted – me too! I hate goodbyes!
Six days ago we had a funeral service and buried my Dad. My children held me as I wept. I just could not believe my Dad was gone. I didn’t want him gone! I wasn’t ready for the Dad-sized hole in my life. I miss him so much. I hate goodbyes!
The day before yesterday I drove my son to the airport so he could return home to his own precious family. When it came time to say goodbye, my heart tightened even as my arms wrapped my son in a fierce hug. An “I love you”, and “Thanks for being here”, and then he was gone – through the doors and on his way. I sobbed until I was half way home. I didn’t want to say goodbye – I hate goodbyes!
In a few more days my siblings and I will be moving our 93 year old Mom to a retirement residence in the neighborhood. I’m sure she doesn’t want to leave her home of over 60 years. The house I grew up in holds memories galore for all of us. It will be a sad series of farewells as we dismantle the place a part of us hoped in vain would last forever. I hate goodbyes!
It’s at times like these that I remind myself that things haven’t always been this way. In our Maker’s mind things were never meant to be this way!
In the Garden of Eden there were no goodbyes until Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Then, because of their pride and rebellion, they became separated from the One who made them. The first goodbye was when they had to leave the beautiful and perfect Garden. Ever since then, the human story has included sorrow and pain and separation. Car accidents, medical mistakes, multiple sclerosis, crohns disease, congestive heart failure, and death are part of what we experience here and now. Every person and every family has its own heart-breaking list.
In the beginning, goodbyes did not exist. In the end, they will not exist either. Things won’t always be as they are now.
The Bible tells me that God is good. God is Love. He sent his Son, Jesus, to be the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Jesus is coming again to establish His Kingdom on earth. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. God himself will be with us. He will wipe away every tear, and death will cease to exist. There won’t be mourning or crying or pain any more. Jesus will reign forever and ever.
For today, and for eternity, the promises of Jesus are absolutely trustworthy: “Never will I leave you”, and “I will be with you always”. What a blessed assurance: no more goodbyes! Imagine!
I love it!