Saying goodbye is hard for me. It feels like whatever bridge I had with a person has a few planks kicked out of it, and my feet cross it less easily to familiar territory. The stronger the friendship, the sturdier the bridge. But when is goodbye final?
I was turning that thought over like a rubrics cube, and remembered a time in history when a certain group of friends was crashed in a house, all staring at each other without knowing what to do. Then in through the door walks the leader who they thought was gone forever. It rocked their world! But then he left again before too long. So now what? Hang out some more, stare at the wall, wait? For what? Is this goodbye final?
And Acts 2 records what happened. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. Some friends have postcards, others text or face-time, but Jesus sent His Spirit to interact with His friends on earth so that they would know what direction to pursue, and also know that this goodbye was only temporary, more of a “see you later.” And that changes everything.
What’s the best way to build a friendship? Pursue common interests, and work through problems together. Jesus offers you friendship. He will not always tell you to do easy things, but He loves you, and He is so excited to see what You can be!
12 “This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I don’t call you servants now. A servant does not know what his master is doing. But now I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work, to go and produce fruit. I want you to produce fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other” (John 15).
“16 I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong in spirit. He will give you that strength through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love. I pray that you can understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. 20 With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3).
And He’s coming back.
God, thank You for Jesus. Thank You that You did not say “goodbye, filthy world” when sin distorted everything good. You offer us a place in Your kingdom, and friendship. Please help me to see how growing that friendship looks when I get up in the morning and start interacting with those around me. To Your glory. Amen.