The holidays are over, decorations are being stored away for another year, and “What to our wondering eyes should appear?” Post holiday let down, or for many, post holiday depression. The excitement of presents, parties, family, etc., are fading into the past. At Christmas we come face to face with our memories and emotions, those which are good and those which are just plain horrible. Feelings about past circumstances, slights, attitudes, and all that goes along with our relationships haunt us like Scrooge’s ghosts! While there may be some we are pleased to see return to their homes, there are others we miss before they have even left. Either way we are left with the fallout.
Our oldest daughter lives in Europe and we are not able to see her very often. It is especially difficult during the holidays. Two years ago Joni and I were to go see our daughter and her husband in London for the Christmas Holiday, but I broke my leg two weeks before we were to go! Things worked out so they could come and see us, however between my illness, the broken leg, and resultant surgery, including a metal rod inserted in length of my tibia with appropriate hardware, I recall very little of their visit. So, for me there is a great anticipation for the day we get to see them again.
Our youngest lives about 4 hours away and came to stay with us for the holiday break! It was a nice quiet time being with each other, enjoying each others company to the fullest. Then came the good-byes, that moment in time for those we love to return to home to their routines, and we return to ours.
The older I become, the harder the good-byes become, and the more I long for the day when all good-byes are finally tossed into the Lake of Fire with sin and death. Until then the pain of being separated from our loved ones remains a reality of our lives.
This is fresh as we have just said good-bye to our daughter as she returns to her life and her responsibilities. It just occurred to me that no matter where either of our girls lives (yes they are still my girls), when we will see them again resides in that country called the future, the unknown.
Jesus gave us a promise in John 14:1-3, “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be where I am.” (NLT)
This is the promise of home, the intimacy of a home, shared premises with shared relationships, and never having to say good-bye ever again. Never fearing that we will ever be parted from those we love and who love us. Especially, we will never be parted from the One who has, is, and will continue to make all this possible!
There are so many things, little things, we allow to de-rail our confidence in this and all other promises given to us by God. We have been given the privilege of reminding each other what is ours in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, we too often choose to ensconce ourselves in our petty opinions and attitudes. We draw lines of demarcation, throw up defenses, arm ourselves for battles not even ours to fight. Words fly, accusations are made, relationships damaged or severed, and lives torn apart by the pettiness of human nature!
All this, when instead we could be offering words of comfort, using words to build up rather than tear down. We have amazing opportunities to remind each other what is ours, and what has been given us by God.
I am not into New Year’s Resolutions, yet maybe we could choose something different this year. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we may become builders, those who encourage, seeking to redirect attentions to the day and time we will never have to say good-bye again. Grace is the process of reminding us this is all ours! Jesus is even changing us, preparing us to live life to its fullest here and now, with confidence in His grace in our process. It reminds us Jesus is not only preparing a Home for us, He is preparing us to live in that home with Him!
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