by Pastor Tim Burt
About seven years ago, our daughter, her husband, and our two granddaughters who lived next door to us, made the decision to become missionaries to Peru. It was so wonderful to see them make such a sacrificial life-choice for the Lord, but the thought of not seeing them every day ripped our hearts out. I could barely talk about if for over a year without tearing up. The season of life with them leading up to this day had been awesome. They were over to our house daily and we enjoyed their love and smiles continuously. And it would quickly come to an end as we knew it. This happens in life. We go through seasons—good and bad, that come to an end and lead toward another. I think most people, even non-bible readers are familiar with the words from Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV) that says, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…”
No one is excluded from the experience of change. Changes happen that are predictable and changes happen that are unpredictable. Some feel wonderful and others are painful beyond words. For that reason, when you are in a good season of life, it’s important to appreciate what you have, knowing that at some point, it will change. Hug your children because they will grow up. Love your youth because you will grow old. Love your great job because something about it will change. Love every blessing that God that has given and be thankful. Ephesians 5:20 (TLB) “Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When something changes, that creates pain in the moment, know that though it might have taken you by surprise, it did not take God by surprise. God has blessing planned ahead and a new season of joy for you. Let God move your forward. Let God heal your heart with time. And trust Him for the good yet to come! It does when you trust and lean on Him. Psalm 112:4 (NLT) “Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.”
The following was from my wife’s journal regarding those days…
A week ago, my daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters finished packing up the house they’d lived in for the past five years. They had heard a call in their heart to become missionaries in Peru, and the time had finally arrived for them to leave. I wish I could tell you that I was this noble, self-sacrificing mom, who only thought about all the good that they would be able to do on the mission field. Frankly, I asked God, with all due respect, if He could pick someone else’s children to send…you know, kids who had a mom who would blog about how honored and thrilled she was that her kids were chosen to follow such a beautiful path in life.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t proud of them…I was. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t supportive of them…I was. I just loved having them live next door…for a lot of reasons. One reason being this. Each morning, when I’d head into the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker, I’d glance through my kitchen window, which happened to face one of their bedroom windows. And on some of those mornings, I would see the adorable faces of one of my granddaughters peering out that window!
Well, the first morning after they had left, I was once again at the kitchen sink…looking into that very empty window. My heart sank, and tears rolled down my face. I considered closing the shade, so I wouldn’t have to ever look into that empty window again. But I didn’t…and one day this week it happened. I didn’t feel the same sadness…because God gently spoke to my heart what He speaks to each of us when there’s an empty place in our life. That He already knew what would be emptied…and He already had a plan…a wonderful plan to fill it with something good! It wasn’t that it would replace what had already been there…it would just re-fill that empty place with more of His goodness …goodness on top of goodness! So now when I see that window? Seven years have passed and they are thriving as missionaries in Peru. We are proud of them in God’s will. A hundred miracles of taken place. They come live with us for a month every summer and we visit them two times a year. And we do missions work together! When I look out that window now, it just reminds me that God knows the future and has faithfulness to make things beautiful never stops amazing me!
Jeremiah 29:11 MSG ~ I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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