I watched a video of soldiers coming home to their loved ones a few nights ago. They came home to spouses, children, parents, family, friends, and the response was always the same. Open arms and tears of absolute, undistracted joy at the sight of someone they have often had to wonder if they would ever see again. I drifted into the dreaminess of my thoughts, pondering what it must be like to long for the mere sight of someone for so long. To yearn for the touch of their hand. To ache for the sound of their voice.
And then I did what I often do.
I began to think about My Jesus. How He, the Most Holy, Gracious, and Loving Savior, has so often waited….for me. He waits while I struggle and fight and grasp for this temporary life. He waits for me, arms wide open, reaching out, waiting to catch me as I leap into His arms, waiting to rescue me from my despair and give me immeasurable, unfathomable joy.
Greater…His joy is greater than what we feel when we welcome someone long missed home. Our joy in those moments is just a glimpse of that which God has when we come through His door with arms outstretched. How He must grieve when we tarry in coming to Him. And Oh, How He must rejoice when we arrive!
Like a child long separated from my daddy who has been off fighting battles and winning wars for my freedom, I run to the open arms of my Jesus Who stands waiting; once wounded, now victorious! With reckless abandon, unashamed tears, and arms wide open I come.
For those of you who may be reading this who live in the reality of never embracing your soldiers again, I pray God gives you the strength to carry on and the peace to withstand the loneliness of this temporary life.
The word of God says there is no greater love than to lay down your life for another. The sacrifice of your beloved person and the sacrifice of the life and relationship you had with them is a beautiful and bold reflection of the sacrifice made for us all by Jesus. Just as you have suffered and lost, your own Creator suffered and lost His son on your behalf.
The captivity of Jesus Christ to death for a moment gives us the freedom to live in community with Him from everlasting to everlasting. And that means we will also live in community with those who have gone before us to embrace King Jesus. The reunions we will have with our loved ones will be sweet and joyous indeed!
May God bless you all for the sacrifices you make each day for people you have never met, and sustain you in the weary moments. We are grateful for you and yours.