2 Corinthians 5:6-9 - So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.
For me, the worst part of traveling is saying goodbye.
Visiting and being with members of our family and friends in faraway places is always a delight. There is the exhilaration of seeing loved ones after a long time away. There is the joyous moment of meeting, and the warmness that comes from reminiscing on old times. There are the fresh stories to be shared and all the questions we have. There are also the hopes and plans we share for the future. And all this, oftentimes, is exchanged around a table of good food and drink, which make it all the more nicer.
But before all this ever begins, one knows it will end, too. And even while we're together, enjoying our reunion, we know we will soon be parting, and the goodbyes must come. That's when a sadness settles in. And like a dark and gloomy cloud that shuts out the sun's rays, all the warmth and pleasure of the visit—though just experienced—quickly becomes another memory.
Fortunately, the sting felt from departing is partly relieved by work and the plain and ordinary business of carrying on with life. Our return home is often softened too with the hope of some future gathering where we can once again enjoy each other's company.
It seems to me that all this has its parallel in our relationship with our Lord, and our eventual home and haven—heaven. There are many things in our lives that can keep us distant in our relationship with God. When by reason of pride, bitterness, discontent, sorrow, or even pleasure, material success, or some other distraction, we disconnect from God, we become detached, alone, and unhappy. The deep communion we need with God is absent; our hearts ache, and we know it's time to go return to Him.
If you sense you've become distant from God and your relationship with Him is not what it should be, He is calling you to Himself. It is only when we walk the path with Him, made possible by Jesus, that we will know contentment is this world. He is the soothing balm our wounds require; He is the One who bridged the distance between us and the Father through His life, death, and resurrection.
Jesus know this. That's why He said to you and me, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:1-3).
"At home with the Lord"—where we will never have to say goodbye.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, leads us to where You are. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, November 1980 issue, "On Visits, Goodbyes," by Jon Suel
1. When is the last time you traveled somewhere and really didn't want to leave?
2. Walking by faith and not sight is hard to do. How do you keep your spiritual focus on God?
3. Does knowing that Jesus has prepared a place in heaven for believers comfort you?
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