Friday, July 7, 2017

Goodbye, for Now



There are few things I dislike more than saying goodbye. Maybe the only thing worse than saying goodbye is never getting to say goodbye at all. This month has been a roller coaster of experiences and emotions as my family celebrated the marriage of my sister and the start of a new family and then in the next week said goodbye to the pastor of our church for the past eight years. I cannot believe it has been eight years since the church plant we started so many years before then was finally particularized. I cannot believe it has already been eight years since I met my pastor’s family. Three of their children were born in Oklahoma! And now we say goodbye. For now. 

That is the redemptive twist of the Gospel. For now. The beauty of the Gospel is that everything in this life is temporary – vanity – fleeting – futile. Everything we accomplish in this world is for this world alone. Death gets it all in the end. But because of Jesus Christ death does not claim us in the end. The Gospel is about redeeming the world from sin and bringing the ultimate glory and victory to God and in that package deal of God’s covenant is the death of death itself. This world is about saying goodbyes and saying farewell. From the time we are born we are virtually learning how to die. Everything in this life is temporary, for this life alone, but by the grace of God death itself becomes temporary. Goodbye is temporary. 

Everyone has a different idea of what it means to live a good life or in other words how to die well. Praise God we were not left grasping for all the answers with truth always just beyond our fingertips. Instead we can know with full assurance that death is not the end.

I hate saying goodbye. I hate not being able to say goodbye. I hate painful goodbyes that end on painful terms. I hate goodbyes that should have happened but never did. In this life we never get to fully make peace with everything and everyone. And even if we do, can we ever make peace with ourselves? Or more importantly, with God? Apart from Christ, the answer is only a deafening silence. But by His grace and sacrifice, we can find peace, we can rest easy, we can stop our striving, and we can mourn as those with hope.

In Jesus Christ our grief becomes less of a longing for the past and more of a straining for the future, for eternity. It becomes not simply a tearful goodbye, but also an eager anticipation for that beautiful reunion. I hope every single goodbye we exchange in this life stirs up that anticipation. Because in Christ, we have this hope, that goodbye is never really goodbye. Even if we never see each other again in this life, goodbye is always “Goodbye for now.” By God’s grace may we always hold this life loosely and continually anticipate that final reunion. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

2 comments :

  1. May the Lord continue to comfort you during this time of goodbyes. <3 It is interesting to think about what you said, that we are learning how to die for all our lives. Thanks for the reminder that this isn't all there is, and we have a far greater hope in eternity with Him!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Paige! Your words are always so encouraging. I hope you're doing well! :)

      Dani xoxo

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