We Were Never Meant to Say Goodbye

I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13-14

the day: [thuh dey] (noun) the time between leaving our home to move our oldest child to his new apartment at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and arriving back home without him.

First off, I want to say that I’m doing great, this side of the day. I know people are wondering, and rightly so. Add Clay’s job change, selling the house, and moving to the day, and it does seem a bit insane. I looked it up – aside from having a baby and imprisonment, we’re hitting pretty much all the top stressful life events at once. One friend brought me brownies; another wore boots to work on the day, and gave me permission to blow up her phone with emo-texts, as needed. Others prayed. I know this for sure, because of that first sentence I typed at the top of this paragraph.

I don’t want to make more of it than I should; I know that people face much more difficult things every day. But change is hard. Leaving people you love is sad. There’s a reason for that – we were never meant to say goodbye.

The day, and every other hard thing in life, is a result of the day sin came into the world. Think about it; if God created everything, and it was good, then why do I hate green peas? It’s because green peas are cursed. Everythingcursed peas.jpg is. It is only by God’s grace that we can enjoy anything at all, because nothing in all the earth is as good it was created to be. Sin has affected everything – the sunrise, sunset, and snow-capped mountains are all less magnificent. The smell of a rose and the taste of avocados are inferior to their original design. Can you even imagine how delicious Chick-fil-A would have been before the curse?

More importantly, there was no shame, worry, or sadness before the curse, because there was no sin. There was perfect fellowship with God and each other. God didn’t have U-Hauls or hearses in mind when He created us. The plan was for us to live forever, together in His perfect presence.

We were never meant to say goodbye. But we chose to know evil, and now we have to. It stinks, but it’s good, too, because it reminds us that this life isn’t it. The prize changed the second Adam and Eve swallowed an apple in Eden. And the world we live in is far less glorious than the one that waits for us.

Even in the curse, God’s grace reached out. He blocked our way to the tree of life so this sad world with U-Hauls and hearses wouldn’t be our forever (Gen. 3:22-24).

We can know and rejoice that there is great purpose in our goodbyes. Every little letting go of earth prods us to hold on, instead, to what is ahead.  Those who trust in Jesus will live with Him forever.

They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. Rev. 21:3,4

On that day and forever after, the tree of life be unguarded, and there will be no more curse (Rev. 22:2-3). Until then, we press on, pursue the prize, and keep saying goodbye.

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