A favorite quote on partings is Juliet’s
“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow”
Her’s was a temporary parting from Romeo.
Everyone of us will face many farewells (longer than brief partings and may involve locale separation) in our lifetime. How we react to those farewells will affect our lives positively or negatively. Broken hearts are negative while hearts challenged by the absence could make the heart grow fonder. How should Faith Children have healthy farewells?
1. Praying together and being open and honest about the pain of parting are healthy good-byes.
Acts 20:36 , 38 – When he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. “
Paul gave us an example when he bade farewell to the Ephesian elders. Who else better than God to commit them to? Then he knelt and prayed with them. Though grieved, it was subject to the will of God. Nothing is better than when God is involved.
2. Before parting thank all the people for what they have meant to you .
Philemon 7 – “For I have received considerable joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed, brother, through you.”
The good which Philemon did, was matter of joy and comfort to him and others, who therefore desired that he would continue and abound in good fruits, more and more, to God’s honour.
3 Seeing God’s plan in your life, circumstances after a call by the Lord, will give you great security as you say good-bye even though it won’t be easy.
Genesis 12:4 “4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.”
4. There is great comfort in knowing that God will take care of those to whom you say farewell. God is near to those with whom you are far apart.
Acts 20:32 – “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself…“
5. It is good to remind yourself and those you are leaving on the Promise from God
Matthew 28:20 ” And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
6. Pray a benediction and challenge with all as you take your leave.
33 “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. 34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. 35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.36 When he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them. “
7. Maintain contact with those you leave behind even as absence must make the heart grow fonder.
When it is time to say your farewell to parents, family, loved ones, school friends and college mates, bosses, supervisees, associates, may the Lord grant you healthy farewells that will enable you to move forward in His love and grace and presence, confident and unafraid of the future with Him.