January 2015

Farewells and New Beginnings

“I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end. “ Jeremiah 29:11

Farewells are hard. We have all experienced them.  We shed tears, and our hearts break.  Recently I lost my Doberman pinscher, Jordan.  He was my “empty nest” baby.  His death brought home again all the losses I’ve experienced in life. 

During prayer one day it dawned on me that the Bible was full of farewells, beginning with Adam and Eve.  Genesis 3:23 reads “The Lord God sent him forth from the garden.” Imagine the pain, deep sadness, the sorrow in the hears of both God and His two errant children.  Then there’s Cain.  He was sent away after killing his brother.  One son fleeing the only home he knows; a father and mother left to mourn the death of a son and the loss of another.  No doubt these farewells caused heart-wrenching tears.

I thought of Noah.  Everything he knew was gone.  Then there are Isaac and Rebecca and Jacob and Esau, a family torn apart by deceit.  Joseph – jealousy separated him from his father and brothers.  Moses fled Egypt, fearing for his life.  Young Esther was wrenched from her home and placed in a pagan world.  Widows Ruth and Naomi sought a new life after loss, and Daniel, taken by force, had to serve a foreign king.

Saying goodbye to friends and loved ones is painful.  I could related to the pain found in these stories nut what I came to realize is that with each ending is a new beginning.  As I mourned the losses in my life I was not able to see new beginnings, but they were always there.

Even the New Testament is full of farewells, but the one found in Luke 24:52 had the biggest impact: “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”  Jesus told the disciples that although He was going away, He was preparing a place for them, and one day they would be together again (see John 14:2).  This is the promise and hope I cling to.  It has helped me to deal with the varied losses in my life.

The future spoken about here is for us to live forever, and the hope is the soon return of Jesus.  He will gather the heartbroken, the sad, the lonely, the depressed, the ill, and the waiting multitudes to Him.  He will wipe away our tears.  There will be no more goodbyes.  This new beginning will last forever!

Written by Kathleen Sowards for the Breathe Devotional

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