Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving tension

Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away for the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:6 (NIV)

As I tucked in and squared off the corner of the bed sheet, I mentally reviewed my list of things to do: fresh bed linens, clean bath towels, stock refrigerator, vacuum family room carpet, tidy bathrooms. Our children were coming home for the Thanksgiving holiday and an inner tension was already beginning to build.

My husband and I are so thankful with where our kids are currently in their lives. At 25 years of age, our son has been working in a full-time job since graduating from college almost three years ago. He and his bride-to-be are excitedly preparing for their wedding next spring. Our daughter, who is in her fourth year of a six-year physical therapy program, has a part-time job and lives in an off-campus apartment. Whether it's to simply say "Hi, momma" or "The jeep is making a funny noise," she keeps us involved in her life by way of text messages and phone calls. I'm thrilled with the skills and abilities they are developing to live independent of their dad and me.

As I placed special "goodies" in each of their bedrooms to help welcome them home, however, I caught myself thinking about their early years: GI Joe birthday cakes, "cat-o-py" science projects, tears at having to wear eyeglasses, sibling squabbles, broken noses, high school musical tryouts, driver's license jitters, and all. Man, to be able to turn back the clock to the time they were young and we were all together living under one roof.

The Apostle Paul talked about moments of tension that confronted him. On the one hand he had the responsibility and duty to fulfill God's purpose for him in his life (Philippians 1:24-25). At the same time, he desired the glory that awaited him when his work on earth was done (Colossians 3:4). In his letter to the Philippians he wrote that he is torn between the two. While he desired to depart and be with Christ--which he said is better by far--he states that it's more necessary that he remain here on earth.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. So have our daughter, son and future daughter-in-law. For a few days we enjoyed each other's company, ate way too much food and made plans for the next time that we hope to be together. Until then, we've each returned to our homes and the responsibilities and duties of our lives.

Dear friend, as believers in Christ Jesus, we, too, can anticipate something special! God has a glorious eternal home prepared for us (Philippians 1:21-23). Like Paul, our goal can be to please the Lord. And until that time that God calls us home, we can live a life of faith; confident that the Lord is actively present in our daily lives.

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

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