Farewells and good-byes are inevitable occasions in our lives.
There are those farewells which are sweet, those that are bitter, some which are bitter-sweet and others may bring us much pain.
Those partings are brought about by a variety of circumstances:- a change of career direction, the pursuit of tertiary education, the moving of our family to a different place, misunderstandings, war, death and a host of other reasons.
Regardless of the kind of good-byes we have to say, if the people we are parted from are trusting in Jesus Christ, we can be absolutely sure that we will see them one day in heaven if we do not meet them again in this life on earth.
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (28th May 2013)
Dedicated to all my CIMB colleagues with a special address to Loh Shook Ling
It’s time for me to say goodbye and bid adieu
To all my friends and comrades in the banking field
The battles we’ve fought hand in hand have not been few
But friendships forged from those struggles are precious yields
Thank you for the benevolence you’ve shown to me
Those acts of kindness will stay in my memory
May God continue to guide you in life’s journey
And give you wisdom to conquer difficulties
Our paths will cross again after my departure
If not in this life, we’ll meet in heaven, I’m sure
For in Jesus’ hands lies our hope for the future
Where we’ll forever be with our loving Saviour
Points for Reflection:I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:3-6).
· For those of us who are trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are all part of God’s family and no distance or earthly separation will ever sever us as partners in the gospel.
· Have you, recently or in the past, experienced a form of earthly separation from a Christian friend or a loved one? If so, you take heart that this parting is only temporal, for the bond of love that we share in Jesus Christ is one that can ever be broken.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).
· What exactly does being partners in the gospel mean? As Christians, we share a common goal which is to glorify God together and advance the gospel. We are to seek ways to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to grow in him. We are to exhort each other to share the gospel to those who do not know Christ. We are to caution each other from being distracted by worldly pursuits and keep our eyes focused on God’s kingdom.
· Are there ways in which you could encourage your fellow partners in the gospel? Have you been distracted by worldly ambitions and neglecting God and his people? Remember that earthly pleasures and success are only temporal but God’s kingdom lasts for eternity.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).