This has been a year of goodbyes. Two weddings and a surgery recovery guaranteed that I’d be able to visit with family this year. And the best part has been that the phrase, “I’ll see you soon” has been attached to each goodbye…until now.
I’m leaving family today but I don’t know when I will see them again. There isn’t another wedding to plan for. There isn’t a future trip already in the works. It’s just goodbye. Unfortunately, I’m finding that saying goodbye on this trip has been very emotional.
I’m not alone. There have been others who have had emotional goodbyes. There are even a few of them in Scripture.
One scene of saying goodbye can be found in Ruth 1:8-14. Weeping and clinging are found in these verses. Saying goodbye to loved ones can be very difficult.
Paul found himself in the middle of a riot and uproar in Ephesus. Acts 20:1 (NIV) tells us, “When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Mcedonia.” Here we see a great example of how to say goodbye when anger might be in the midst.
And then we see an example of one desiring to say goodbye to his family so that he might follow Jesus. Luke 9:61-62 (NIV) allows us to view the scene. A disciple said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”
That seems like a logical request, but Jesus wanted this disciple to know that sometimes it costs us everything to follow Him. It is up to us to determine how much we are willing to give up to put our relationship with Jesus first in our lives.
Jesus also speaks to the cost of following Him in Matthew 6:33 (NIV). “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Seeking God’s kingdom first is not natural to us. We would much rather seek our own desires first, but if we follow this guideline, we see that God will give us all the things seek (but just so you get the picture, when God’s will is before our own, some of the original desires of our heart become unimportant…our hearts change).
Yes, saying goodbye has been emotional. To be honest, I don’t really want to say goodbye. But there are some bright spots ahead that lighten the load of my heart. I will soon see the smiling faces of my grandchildren. I will be able to embrace my beautiful daughters. I will continue to prepare my body and heart for the service trip to SE Asia. I will begin leading women’s Bible study.
See, there are a great many things to be excited about. So today I choose to think of these upcoming events and not the goodbyes.
God Be With You Till We Meet Again
God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you,
With his sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.[i]
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,