Saying Good-Bye Again
By Lori Mumford
Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Psalm 39:4-5 NIV
The movers are coming tomorrow, and my mind is racing with all the things that need to be done. For a moment, those thoughts cease while I dwell on the precious brothers and sisters I have to leave. Some I’ve gotten to know well, and others I’ve only had the privilege of watching their godly lives. Oh, there’s my kindred spirit! Who will I want more to share our traditional ham dinner with before Christmas? Who else will laugh and cry so easily with me? Who else has mannerisms so much like my own that we neither have to explain ourselves? Who else will I humbly watch and learn from? I will miss her.
If I stayed in those thoughts, I would remain hopelessly desperate, but I’m reminded of Psalm 39:4-5. Our lives here are a “mere handbreadth.” In fact, even if I live to be a hundred, that is short from an eternal perspective. So I must say good-bye to these dear ones, knowing that if I don’t get to see them again face to face while here on earth, then we haven’t long here until we meet again for all eternity.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV), it says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” When I steer my thoughts to that heavenly promise, I am encouraged. He gives me the peace to leave and the will to let go.
God has eternal reasons for bringing all sorts of people in and out of our lives. We might not always understand the whys of His timing, but we must deliberately choose to trust Him. There are locations where He gives us a kindred spirit, and there are locations where He gives none but Himself. Those are the times we must draw nearer to Him, because He uses them to fill us with Himself and to make us a better friend to the next persons He gives us. We will have fewer expectations of people filling our needs where God should. We can trust that He will place new friends in our lives in His Perfect timing and for His good purpose.
When this tour ends, will I dwell on the separation, or will I ask God to give me an eternal perspective for the people He weaves in and out of my life.
Dear Lord, Thank you for these dear people You’ve placed in my life during these years. I trust that the next place You take us, You’ll give, in Your time, others for us to know and befriend for Your good purpose. You have perfect reasons for meshing our lives together. Let us never forget that our lives are but a breath, so that we may be glad and trust You in our earthly life and rejoice and anticipate our heavenly one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
From Faith Deployed; Daily Encouragement for Military Wives by Jocelyn Green. 2009 Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL
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