The airport is a common place for public displays of affection. Have you ever noticed the many people hugging and kissing their loved ones as they part? Perhaps for a short trip or, in some cases, a much longer separation.
My brother-in-law came to visit from Cleveland for Labor Day weekend. Late afternoon on Monday, we took him to the airport. As we drove to the USAir drop off point, I noticed the many different goodbyes. I saw some give a quick hug or handshake, probably meaning they would meet again very soon. But one couple really caught my attention.
I saw a man and woman clinging to one another, tears streaming down her face. I don’t know their situation, but whatever the circumstance, the scene got me thinking about difficult separations.
Separate from Those we Love
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. Revelation 21:3-7
Life is full of painful separations from those we love. Broken relationships, relocation and death cause heartbreak and grief in our souls. Yet, for those in Christ Jesus, there is hope.
God has promised those who trust in Him an eternal life entirely devoid of death, crying, mourning and pain. I believe this means we will exist in perfect harmony with one another, no longer experiencing aching separation or the bitter loss of death. What a glorious day that will be!
Physically Separate from Jesus
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. John 14:1-4
Jesus spoke these words to comfort His disciples at their Passover feast, the night of His betrayal. He was explaining that He would be leaving them very soon, as Jesus knew He was going to the cross. Jesus was referring to a physical separation from His disciples. He would always be with them through the gift of the Holy Spirit, whom was soon coming to them.
However, Jesus knew that a physical separation would be unpleasant for His friends, whom had come to love Him and depend on His bodily presence. So He lovingly reminded them that this separation was temporary as He was going to prepare a place for them in heaven.
Unlike His disciples, I have never experienced the physical presence of Jesus. But, as His follower and friend, I look forward to that day. A time when we will not be removed from a Holy God, who is the only ultimate GOOD, because of sin and the broken condition of this world.
So I also take comfort from the words of Jesus. His promise to prepare a place for us. An actual room. I can only wonder what a room prepared by Jesus himself will be like!
We are separated on the physical level, but not forsaken. Jesus also promises to come back and take us to the place where He is. A place where there is no pain, suffering or grief. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Well we said a temporary farewell to my brother-in-law, who is truly more of a brother to me. My husband and the boys gave quick “manly” hugs, but I held on a little longer. May grace abound in all of your goodbyes, my friends.