(In 2017, I wrote this series for the 40 days prior to Easter to prepare our hearts and minds for the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. I’m reposting the series now for the 40 days after Easter to encourage us to follow through, living in the risen Savior and King.)
My last night at home was awkward. It was October, 2002, and for the first time in 7 years I was about to separate from my family, not knowing when I’d be back. I talked with my older boys about why the Army was sending me to Kuwait – maybe Iraq. I told them that I loved them and stressed the need to help their Mom – she would have to do it all without me, starting tomorrow. I almost dreaded tucking in my 2 year old. Would he say goodnight in his usual way?
After the standard big hug, big kiss, and sip of “big water”, I prayed with him, and he laid his head down. “I see you in the morning, Daddy”. I was afraid of that. I tried to explain that I would be gone for a long time with the Army, and he seemed to understand. “You going to work with Army men?” he asked in a cute, high-pitched voice. “That’s right”, I responded. “Okay, Daddy. I see you in the morning”, like it was any other night.
I wiped away a tear (mine) and kissed him one last time. Truthfully, I wasn’t that concerned about how they would do without me, but I wondered how I would do without them.
We all want someone to love us, & we put great hope in those relationships. When those special people accept us, trust us, and depend on us, then we feel on top of the world. That kind of hope, however, is fleeting. Sooner or later, we will be separated from, and even the best of friends let us down at times.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother” (emphasis mine). In John 15:13-15, Jesus calls His disciples ‘friends’ because He commits Himself to His followers. We must put our hope in the only One Who will never leave us or let us down. Only then will we have the peace, confidence, and wisdom necessary for the hard times that will certainly come. Knowing Jesus’ love gives us inner peace by finding our value in Him. Then we’ll have the strength to care for our loved ones without worrying about who loves us.