Why do we say, “Goodbye?”
Are goodbyes ever good?
The phrase dates back to the 1500’s and actually comes from godbwye, which is a contraction of “God be with ye.” It was later influenced by good day and good evening.
I wouldn’t mind saying “God be with you,” but goodbyes don’t ever feel “good.” According to dictionary.com, it’s one of the saddest words in the English language.
I recently had to say goodbye again to my daughter and grand kids across the country, and it never gets easier.
I wonder what kind of goodbyes you’ve had to say lately.
School recentlystarted again, and maybe your baby has gone to kindergarten for the first time, or you can’t believe he/she is now in high school.
Perhaps your baby was just married or entered the military or went off to college far away.
Our daughter went to Bible college in Sydney, Australia. I never wanted to stand in the way of her dreams or God’s work in her life. We were proud of her, so it was a bitter-sweet goodbye. Oh, who am I kidding? It was heart wrenching to leave her half way around the world!
I had already had some practice with heart wrenching goodbyes with my two sons, though. One night at dinnertime, three Marines showed up at our door to take my oldest son to boot camp. I hid my tears behind a proud smile in front of those valiant men, and I gave him my blessing as he left with nothing but the clothes on his back. “He’ll be given everything he needs, Ma’am.” I shut the door and let the dam break with deep, tear-filled prayers.
Trust. That’s what it’s all about.
Do we pray for them and continue to worry?
Or can we…
…trust that God is always with them? (Joshua 1:9)
…trust that as they face life’s challenges, the One who loves them more than we do will keep their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus? (Philippians 4:7)
…trust that when they’re lonely or scared, the Comforter will be with them wherever they go? (John 14:16)
…trust that even in danger or uncertainty, He will strengthen and help them and uphold them with His righteous right hand? (Isaiah 41:10)
…trust that everything we taught them was enough? Now it’s time for them to put it into practice. (Proverbs 22:6)
God’s got this.(Deuteronomy 31:8)
Psalm 16:5 in the New Living Translation reads, You guard all that is mine. I have held onto that verse and prayed it numerous times, especially when my second son was addicted to drugs.
There were times I didn’t know where he was, times of jail and times of rehab – times of many tears and many prayers. Talk about heart wrenching.
You realize prayer is all you’ve got when prayer is all you’ve got.
But the Lord hears our prayers for our children and guards them – from the difficult untying of apron strings in kindergarten to far-away places where we don’t know what they’re doing or if they’re safe. He is with them when we‘re not. He has more control to watch over them than we ever have, even when they’re right by our side. Whether they live in the room down the hall or half way around the world, they belong to Him, and He is always with them.
My daughter loved her experience at college in Sydney and grew immensely. My oldest son was protected in many dangerous situations all around the world. And my son who had the drug problem? He also ended up going to Bible college in Australia and is now a pastor there.
I used to read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Judith Viorst, 1972) to my kids when they were young. I never thought any of them would actually move to Australia!
Our nest is empty now. But as I say my goodbyes and continue to pray, I know our faithful God is always with them. Though I hate the distance and miss them so much, I still can trust Him.
And whether yours are across the hall, across town, or across the world, you can, too.
And behold, I am withyou always, to the end of the age.Matthew 28:20 ESV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 ESV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. John 14:16 ESV
Fear not, for I am with you;be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 ESV
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
I am writing a six-week Bible study called Pursuing God in P.R.A.Y.E.R. – Six Steps to Prevailing Prayer. I would love to share the first week with you free and keep you posted of publication. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the code FREE1st.
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