Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saying Goodbye - Martin Wiles

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIV

After six years, we had to say goodbye.

Twix, our candy-bar colored Chihuahua, had been a roustabout. My daughter bought him from a relative when he was six weeks old. When she moved into an apartment where animals weren’t allowed, Twix went to stay with her boyfriend. When her boyfriend moved, Twix moved in with his parents in Vermont.

After my daughter and her boyfriend broke up, Twix lived with Mom. When Mom had knee surgery, Twix came to live with us. In time, his teeth deteriorated. Soft food and treats were all he could eat.

Then Twix’s jaw dropped. He could no longer hold food in his mouth. What we dreaded had finally happened. A trip to the vet revealed the bad news. There was nothing he could do to give him quality of life. We said goodbye, and we all cried. His presence in our home had brought joy. Knowing he would no longer be with us left an inconsolable sadness.

Paul’s readers in Thessalonica were sad. They grieved because their loved ones had died. Yet, Paul wanted them to know they had hope. Even now, their loved ones’ souls were in heaven, and one day those spirits would be reunited with resurrected bodies.

Saying bye is never easy, whether to animals or humans—or when we’re moving away from friends or family. That’s why making memories is so important. If I’m not careful, busyness and misplaced priorities can steal the time I should be spending with the ones I love. Work, hobbies, and church are all important—but not more important the memory making.

I suppose telling an animal goodbye is more difficult because they have no immortal souls as humans do. When they’re gone, it’s the end. We’ll never see Twix again. His body will return to dust. But my friends, family, and loved ones who have died—but who knew Christ as their Savior—I will see again in heaven. So I don’t say goodbye to them with the same sadness with which I said goodbye to Twix.

Numerous ways exist for us to prepare for saying farewell—wills, life insurance—but if we miss the most important way of salvation, we’ll make it very difficult for our loved ones and friends to say goodbye to us. Make it easier for them to tell you goodbye.

Prayer: Father, thank You for making it possible for the goodbyes to be easier. 

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