I hate goodbyes. I mean really hate them.
As another school year closes, it’s inevitable, goodbyes are on the horizon. Seniors in high school are moving on to become freshmen in college. And, dang it, they so often want to explore other states! What’s so wrong with staying home? I suppose we all have to spread our wings, and follow the Lord’s leading, wherever that may be.
This year we will be sending off one of our dearest friends who has become family. She’s leaving to go to college in another state. I’m not sure if my arms will allow me to let her go when she gives me that last hug. But, surely, someone will pry me loose, and tell me to get a grip. I’ll swallow the lump in my throat, force a smile, say goodbye, and walk away. And as soon as I shut the truck door, all snot and tears will break out! I just don’t want it to end. Things will never be the same. But..things never are. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
Life is change, growth is optional. I’m so glad she’s choosing to grow, instead of staying somewhere she knows she isn’t meant to be right now. All the same, I am thankful that our goodbye with our friend isn’t forever, it’s just a “see you soon!” 🙂
On the other hand, my feisty old Gramma will be turning 100 soon. She’s forgetting a lot of things now, as is expected, she’s almost 100! But, she’s forgetting things about me, too. And it hurts so much. I know she wants to go home to Jesus. But, I hate to think of life without her in it.
Anyway, if you’re saying goodbye for a little while, or goodbye until Heaven..just know that there’s someone you never have to say goodbye to. Yep, you guessed it, Jesus. He sticks closer than a brother, and will never, ever leave us. In that, I take great comfort. He knows every pain, every moment of sadness, and every tear that falls. And He will be with us as we say goodbye to those we love.
Here’s a video (link) that always comes to mind when I have to say goodbye:
JESUS WILL BRING YOU HOME – MAY 23, 2011
Daily devotion from John 14:1-3.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – John 14:1-3
Do you like saying goodbye, especially saying goodbye to someone you dearly love? As Jesus spoke to his disciples on the night before he died, he knew that his words were, to a large degree, words of farewell. But even as he spoke his farewell, he also wanted to comfort his disciples. They were going to see him again!
Jesus was leaving to prepare a place for them. He was then going to return and bring his disciples to be with him. When the apostle John later in life looked back on that evening, he understood how Jesus went about preparing this place for his disciples. John stood at the cross as Jesus washed away the sin of the world. He made the inhabitants of the Father’s house clean by forgiving their sin. Forty days later Jesus ascended into heaven where he waits to bring his disciples home as he rules all things for the good of those who love him.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to wait for Jesus to return. We find ourselves confronted with troubles each day. Past sins have a way of haunting us. New sins have a way of attacking us. Despair can sink into our lives as we wait for Jesus to fulfill his promise to take us home.
Jesus knows that our hearts become troubled, that our trust at times wavers, that we may wonder if he is ever going to come back and take us home with him. So he gives us these words of comfort and encouragement. Our Savior remembers his promise and will fulfill it. As he came the first time to rescue us from the destruction of sin and death, we are assured that he is faithful and will come back and bring us to his heavenly home where we will never again have to say goodbye.
Dearest Jesus, you promised that you were going to prepare a place for me. Come quickly, that I may join you in your Father’s house. Amen.