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Lessons From Animals--"Reunion"

"Jacob looked up and there was Esau…Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept."
Genesis 33:1a, 4

 

It had been a long time coming--a little over half a year--but I finally had the opportunity to see my girls again. I was in the neighborhood (actually, it was a little out of my way), and I was excited. I'd thought about them often, and this day--when it would be time for a reunion.What a Sec...Do I Know You?

Kasey was obviously expecting someone else. She was on a hill above me, and as she came running into eyesight she suddenly stopped…who is this strange man I'm looking at? The memories came back slowly as she cautiously walked up to me and let me hold and pet her. I imagine for her it was like trying to recall a dream--bit by bit you begin to remember, and gradually the fog lifts. I smiled as I noted that some things apparently never change: Kasey had escaped from her kennel, leaving poor Annie behind. Interestingly enough, Annie knew me right away (apparently the sight of me coming to get her, after having been abandoned in the kennel by Kasey, was enough to immediately trigger the memories). But here we all were, a happy family reunited.

I had mixed emotions saying goodbye at the end of the visit. Kasey cried just a little as I walked away, having put her back in her kennel; now that she remembered me, I was leaving--again. It was difficult for me to leave, too…but not as much as I had thought it would be. The girls had obviously made this their new home; they were happy and content. Hopefully, unlike their other homes, they will be able to stay there for some time.

Saying goodbye can sometimes be a very, very difficult thing. It's even harder if you don't know when you'll see that person again. The love that we have for others is often most felt in their absence. Yet "leaving," unfortunately, is a part of life. Indeed, it becomes an integral part of a relationship with God as found in the Bible: a man leaves his parents to be united to his wife; Joseph must leave his home and travel to Egypt; Jonah must leave his home and travel to Nineveh; Hannah must give up her son Samuel; Daniel leaves Jerusalem and goes to Babylon; the Apostle Paul must leave his very heritage. And look at Abraham's experience with leaving:

 

Genesis 12:1--The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing."

 

It becomes bittersweet: God instructs Abram (who later becomes Abraham) to leave his country, his people, and his home. But there is a grand purpose--it is the beginning of a journey. And not just "one man's" journey; it is the journey of a nation. And the promise is that this nation will always have a relationship with God. But part of that relationship means that God will often ask someone to leave.

Yet the Bible also tells us that a day will come when we will experience a reunion: a day when death will no longer separate us from those we love; a day when there will be no more "good-byes." Everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected, brought back to life. Revelation 21:1 - 7 tells us about this day:

 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son."

 

Imagine that day! Good friends, long ago separated, come together once more. Family members are reunited. And this time, if they so wish, they don't have to say goodbye. For believers in Jesus Christ, this time the reunion is eternal.

 

In Christ,

 

--Pastor Dan

 

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