I hate goodbyes and especially when someone is leaving and I know that I can’t go visit them.
In the past several years it seems between moves, changes and the death of dear friends, the goodbyes have become more frequent.
There is this sense of abandonment, a blanket of loneliness that sets in when I know that separation is coming and I feel helpless to stop it.
I can remember a season when we had buried far too many of our church members.
I found myself turning to a friend standing next to me and saying with tears in my eyes, “they are leaving us”.
I guess that is why I found my recent study in the gospel of John 14, so very encouraging.
Jesus is speaking to his disciples as he prepares them for his crucifixion.
They have been following, learning and believing.
Their faith had grown and so had their love for Christ.
But now, they are being told that his time on earth was coming to an end.
They didn’t totally understand what he was trying to tell them but they definitely didn’t want to think about him leaving.
Jesus knew this would be hard.
It was going to be the hardest on him.
He encouraged them with the promise that He would send the Holy Spirit as a helper and that although he was going away, he would prepare a place for them and they would be joining him there eventually.
He left them with comfort and hope.
That same hope that he gave his disciples, he gives to us who believe.
We may part for awhile.
Some of us may leave earlier than others and we will have to say our goodbyes.
The good news is that in Christ, these goodbyes are not forever.
He is not a parent who abandons his children. He always delivers on his promises.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1,2