It’s over. It went too quickly. My vacation has come to an end. I think the hardest part of this particular trip is saying goodbye to loved ones. I’ve said goodbye all week long. It began with the Bride and Groom as they left to go on their honeymoon. Then to extended family and newest members of the family. Around mid-week I said goodbye to nieces and a future niece. And finally to every other family member that has been with me this week.
Today will be difficult. I know I will see them in five months, if not before, but it has been a special week. A week of reconnecting. A week of coming together. Living together. Together.
But the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” Yes, the time we’ve had here in Florida must come to an end, but what made it special does not. We are family and that will never change. It still doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.
I am reminded of Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders In Acts 20. He was headed to Jerusalem. He knew this would be the last time he spent with this group of beloved believers. And he made the most of his time with them. He spoke to them. He encouraged them. He didn’t candy coat their situation or his own.
The Ephesian church would be attacked by the outside world and from within. It was going to happen. But the elders had been taught well and were prepared for such battle. The Holy Spirit and God’s Word would give assistance during these future battles. Paul also encouraged them to keep watch over the church and be shepherds of that flock. He was leaving this church in good hands.
At the end of this encounter, Paul and the elders knelt in the sand on the beach. They prayed and wept. Embraced and kissed. All too soon it was over. Each would go their separate way to face what lay ahead. Yes, they would miss Paul. Paul would miss them. But their spiritual bond was far greater than the physical separation.
Goodbyes have never been easy for me, but this one will be the most difficult yet. I just need to keep reminding myself that it is only for a short while. So instead of goodbye, I think I’ll say “so long.” So long Florida. So long beautiful ocean. So long family. I love you all!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,