"All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever come to me I will never drive away." (NIV) John 6:37
Fifteen years is a long time! Lots of things happen in 15 years. An infant attends elementary, middle and is half way through high school in 15 years. A career can truly take hold in 15 years. A relationship can move through good, tough and good times again in 15 years. One can survive cancer for 15 years. A puppy can grow into a mature dog. I have been fortunate to have experienced many of these things in 15 year periods! Yet, Saturday, another memory took on a 15-year timeline, the passing of my dad. It is so hard to believe that he has been gone 15 years. He has missed many earthly momentous occasions.
As I looked over the many 15-year periods I have had in my life, I have come to realize that many things come and go. Childhood friends can come and go. Relationships can come and go. Careers can come and go. Our health can certainly come and go. As well, important people in our lives, like my dad, can come and go. The saying goes, "Nothing Lasts Forever." When we view so many earthly things, that is very true. There is so much that leaves our lives, or at the very least changes dramatically. Family dynamics can change. This past weekend, I reflected so much on our family and how our home as gone from one of much hustle and bustle to a bit more quiet and serene.
Not all changes are bad and it is God's will that we experience all of these changes. He wants us to live fully during our time on earth and enjoy the people and situations He has so gracefully put around us. It is my goal to take the time to experience all that God has planned for me. The good times and the difficult times. The happiness and sadness. The joy and the pain. I am doing my best to do that!!
How about you? What have you experienced during the last few 15-year periods? I pray that it has been filled with many of the blessings our earthly life can offer - including those of goodness and well as challenges. For it is in ALL of those experiences that we can truly appreciate the one thing that will never change, the one thing that will never leave us.
It is in all of those life experiences that we get to see, and feel, and hear the goodness of God. As He shares in our verse for today, once we are His, we are His for eternity!! Nothing we can do (or not do), nothing we can say (or not say), will stop Him from being there for us. Nothing will stop Him from hearing our prayers. Nothing will stop Him from guiding our paths. Nothing will stop Him from preparing that heavenly room for us in eternity. NOTHING! God is the ONE that Does Last Forever.
I don't know about you, but I need to know that - I need to know that among all of the change (in 15 years and in 15 days), I have someone that will never change, will never leave me. I have God. I can count on Him no matter how tough my days are. I can rely on His saving grace. I can be assured that He holds me in the palms of His hands. I can be assured that He will always love me. I know, because He told me so - in this blessed verse for today.
When life takes us for a tumble of change, and it always does, please gain comfort and peace in knowing that when God says we are His, He means we are His for eternity - not just a lifetime! I miss my dad so much, and many others who have left this earthly life. Yet, I know that when I get to see my heavenly home, I will get to see Daddy again, and THAT makes me smile.
"Dearest God, thank you for always holding onto me, regardless of where my life takes me. Throughout 15+ years, you have been walking with me, carrying me, shielding me and guiding me through this earthly life. As changes occur, may I always know that YOU are the constant, you will never leave, and YOU will bring me home. Thank you, God, for always being there - ALWAYS!! Amen."