It’s Faith-refresher Wednesday!
My husband Ted grew up as a military dependent. His father was in the Air Force so he had the opportunity to live in many states and countries around the world. Ted explained to me how, when they would once again have to move, that it was sad to leave good friends behind. However, you never said “good-bye”. Why? Because, he explained, you most likely would see your friends again when you would by-chance get moved and stationed in the same location. So instead, it was always “See you later!”
Through the years of Ted’s childhood, he can recall countless times when all their household belongings would be packed up to move with the family to a new location. If they were heading off to another country, then all their belongings would go into storage until they returned to the states.
One childhood item that has become a treasure to Ted and his sisters was the cookie jar. This cute little bear cookie jar with a yellow hat for a lid miraculously traveled over fifty years from home to home with Ted’s family. It was amazing that the cookie jar made it through so many travels unbroken. And then there were the times it was in storage with everything else, only to be unpacked in a new home to be placed on the refrigerator – out of easy reach from cookie-seeking children! They never had to say ‘goodbye’ to the cookie jar. It traveled with the family through the years to always be there again. No one imagined it making it, unbroken, through all those years and miles of travel. Ted’s mom occasionally joked how she thought that someday, THAT would be the item the kids would wrestle for ownership of.
Ted’s mom went home to heaven last week. Yesterday, Ted and I picked up some relatives from the airport that had flown in for today’s memorial service. As we entered the house, Ted’s sisters were holding the cookie jar and teased Ted that mom’s ashes were going to be placed in the cookie jar. There were many items in the house the ashes could go in, but the cookie jar had a lid –and what better item than that? Of course, they were kidding. Then they talked about how mom always thought the cookie jar would cause some rivalry but then both sisters said, “Here, Ted, you take it.” They willingly gave it to Ted without a fight. I think they knew that through the years, Ted was the one who took the most opportunities to climb the counters to try and steal a cookie from the top-of-the-fridge cookie jar.
Ted’s mom was a woman who loved God and knew that someday she would be going home to heaven. I don’t know how people who don’t have that faith or belief can live life without the fear of where they will go when death takes them from this earthly life. We are glad that mom is free from pain and in the presence of her Lord and Savior, but we are sad … because we miss her. The wonderful thing is, that as fellow believers in Christ, we never really have to say ‘goodbye’ to our loved ones. We only need to say “See you later.”
Just like that magic cookie jar that was part of the family, it would disappear into storage when the family was overseas. No one saw it for months or years. And then they would move to a new home and the cookie jar would appear! See you later cookie jar!
Life is a journey where we cross paths all the time with friends and loved ones. And then loved ones leave us to go to their final home. It’s sad. We will miss them for a time. But God loves us so much that He sent His son to pay the price of our wrongs so that all we need to do is believe in Him and we can have everlasting life. Our final home. Heaven.
See ya later mom.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.