All good things...

Sometimes I wish time would stand still. If only the joy we experience in the moment could be captured and held and not have to move forward to something new. That's how I'm feeling tonight, several hours after returning from the airport where we left our two oldest sons to return to California. Twelve days of family togetherness was great! And I know we can't live in vacation-mode forever, but I wish those joyful moments didn't fly by so fast. It's interesting to ponder that God stands outside of time. Time is a created thing and someday will be no more. Right now, life revolves around time, around schedules and appointments and moments captured and opportunities taken and lost. But what will it be like when life is not measured in minutes or turns of the earth or seasons of springtime and harvest? I would say I can't begin to imagine, but that wouldn't be true. I can imagine that when time no longer holds us hostage, joy will have no limit, no need to end.

Time restrains us. And while we might live life to the fullest and abundantly now, all good things do still come to an end. Life shifts. Choices change. People move forward and backward. Some give up. Some press on. Dreams dangle by a thread, and some shrivel and die. Others blossom and grow and explode in wild fulfillment. Only time knows which way things will go, and time is not telling what it knows. God wraps the future in time and only reveals it in specific moments. Perhaps time is the catalyst used to stretch our faith. Someday, when we see what we cannot see now, when faith is made sight, time's purpose will cease to be. All good things will come to an end no more.

I long for that day. Especially on days like today when I knew the hour was fast approaching when we would stand at the airport and hug our "see you laters". (I hate goodbyes.) Love makes goodbyes really stink. Separation is probably one of the things I hate most. But love also knows that separation is necessary and God can use even this for good.

Because really, though time may make all good things come to an end, God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. Even unknown futures and fading dreams. Even struggles we can't fix and trials that zap our strength. Even pain and sorrow and confusion and everything else that afflicts the human soul. All things...God uses them all, shaping them for our good.

So while I watch Flighview on my iTouch and see my boys' plane streaking across the computer screen (they're over Iowa right now after an hour delay in Detroit), I am sad that their presence in missing from our home. Tiger snuggled me as soon as we returned, as if he knew. But of course, he did. He loves his boys. And Shadow has claimed Randy's lap as well. Life will be quieter again and time and work will move forward. It is the way of things. For now.

But not forever. Someday all good things won't come to an end ever again!


PersonalJill Eileen Smith