Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No More Good-byes

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”    Revelation 7:17 (KJV)

Not long ago, we honked our horn and waved good-bye to some precious and very dear friends…they went their way, and we went ours, after enjoying such refreshing fellowship and friendship.  They had made sacrifices to come from two different states and directions…just to be with us, encourage us, and let us know they care. 

It touched us deep inside to know that there are people who care that much about us.  That in this modern world where the love of many has grown cold, they are intent on showing us that no matter what transpires, their love and the ties of our friendship cannot be severed.  As we drove away from them, through tear-dimmed eyes, I began singing the song, “Reunion In The Sky” written by Francis Eichelberger. 
Here are the words:

  1. When we have a meeting to glorify the Lord,
    How we love to worship His name in one accord;
    But the thought of parting always brings us inward pain,
    For we know not whether we’ll gather here again.
    • Chorus
      Some day we’ll meet together, the time is drawing nigh,
      When we have our fam’ly reunion in the sky;
      We’ll gather ’round the throne of God to never say goodbye,
      When we reach our mansion prepared for us on high.
  2. We will pray the Father to bless and keep each one
    With the peace He gave us through His beloved Son;
    If we never meet again this side of heaven’s shore,
    He will keep us faithful and true forevermore.
  3. We’ll keep pressing onward in unity and love,
    Waiting for our summons that’s coming from above;
    God will wipe away the tears from every weeping eye,
    When we get to heaven there’ll be no sad goodbye.
Everything in this life has an ending.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV) says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”  There is a time to say hello, and a time to say good-bye.  The good-byes are always the hardest for me.  As the song above says, “For we know not whether we’ll gather here again.”  Life is uncertain.  There are no guarantees.  Changes come unannounced and unexpected.

Aren’t you glad one day we will never say good-bye again?  It is so glorious to gather together in this life to enjoy the blessings of the Lord, but the impending good-bye always looms in our minds and casts its sad shadow.  When we get to Heaven, the glory will never end.  The fellowship will be continual and forever.  We won’t need to wave good-bye or ever cry again.

Revelation 21:4 (KJV) says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” 

Aren’t you glad there is a Heaven?

Aren’t you thankful this is not all there is to it?

As full of the glory of God as the Apostle Paul was, he penned these words…”If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”  I Corinthians 15:19 (KJV)  Even though this life contains many moments that are great and wonderful and filled with blessings, there is a flip-side of pain and disease, tears, good-byes, and sadness.  To think that this is all there is….that we live and then die with no hope of a better home is to reach a very hopeless conclusion.

We’ve all said good-bye to departed loved ones and felt the horrible realization wash over us that we will never see them again in this life.  We’ve lived through days and nights of denial, trying to convince ourselves that surely they are still here…that life is still the same…that we can still reach out and talk to them and touch them, only to be jolted to the harsh reality that everything has changed, and they will never be here again. 

In Heaven, that will never happen.  Because the Bible says “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying…for the former things are passed away.”  What joy to know that there is a place like that!  Jesus said He would go and prepare a place for us, and then He would come again and take us there. 

I really hate good-byes….I hate leaving my loved ones, especially the ones who are far away.  I hate not knowing if I will see them again and not being able to predict how much time any of us has left.  And I really hate saying those final good-byes standing by the gravesides of those I’ve loved.  But, as we read in I Thessalonians 4:13 (KJV), “…ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”  When our loved ones die in Jesus, we have hope that we can live for God and be reunited with them when we die.  And the next time we see them….in that family reunion in the sky....we’ll never say good-bye to them again.  J

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