One thing I haven’t come to grips with yet about this life is that friendships don’t last forever.
In fact, all relationships are fluid. People move in and out of our lives as time goes on. It’s just a fact of life.
A fact of life I despise.
Whether it’s circumstances, choices, disagreements or death, everyone we hold dear will eventually leave us. And, of course, we will also eventually leave them.
Even our familial relationships will end. We may live in the same city for 60 years with our parents, our siblings, our spouses, our children… we may have great emotional intimacy with them, picture perfect (yeah, right) relationships, but, if nothing else does, death will prevail.
Circumstances separate us. Our best friends we grow up with move away for college or for a job or for a significant other. We get absorbed into creating our new families, pursuing our new careers and exploring our callings. We keep in touch as best we can, but time and distance defeat our resolve.
Choices and disagreements break our relationships. Our spouses file for divorce. Our children flee in rebellious huffs. We push our friends away out of self-protection.
The list goes on… the point remains the same. No relationship is forever.
We are utterly alone. The only companion we have through it all is ourselves, and we don’t even really like ourselves all that much. Realizing this is hopelessly depressing. We fold our hands and choose to insulate ourselves from this painful reality by retreating from our present relationships. Avoid pain at all costs – this is the human mantra.
But we can’t live like this.
We soon discover the pain of being a hermit equals or surpasses the pain of loving others we know we are going to lose one way or another.
Who will rescue us from this catch 22?
“…the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,” (Galatians 1:3-4).
Jesus gives us the solution. He offers us all eternal life so death will no longer separate us from those we love. We may be temporarily separated on earth, but we will be reunited in heaven forever, enjoying sweet and perfect friendship.
What’s the catch?
Both parties must accept Jesus’ solution.
It’s not hard, but it does break down our pride quite a bit to admit we can’t right this ship ourselves. We can’t over come loneliness or the inevitable fact that all our relationships are coming to an end. We’ve already lost so many – proof we can’t control anything.
But there is One who is offering us hope – hope we literally and figuratively cannot live without.