by Jocelyn R. Plett
Less than a week remains (as of May 7) until we embark on our last journey off this great island (Madagascar). The emotions and stress of saying goodbye to friends, places, things, and experiences we most likely will never see again is overwhelming. The whole experience brings death to my mind more often than not.
As we mourn this life we’ve known for so many years, as we enjoy every “last” as fully as we are able, I ponder the bittersweet fact that life in Madagascar will go on after we leave, just as it has for centuries. Our friends will continue on with life without us, our staff will move on to new jobs with new employers. We will be remembered, surely, especially—I hope—by the things we have invested in.
But it is a harsh and glorious truth that it has not been us who has provided blessings to those around us so much as the Almighty God, who used us to bless them. I need not fear for them. The Lord remains here to continue to bless and provide for those who remain in this place.
Just as He is already in the new life awaiting us in the country we will move to. Preparing a place for us with good purpose and as great provision as He has given us in this life. Greater, even.
Beth Moore, in a Bible study video I watched long ago, spoke on the passing from this life to life after death. As she walked across the stage, she shed a big overcoat, exemplifying the act of shedding our physical body, yet continuing on with a new body. The old life, the overcoat, was left on an untidy heap in the middle of the stage while she continued her trajectory.
It was a vivid visual aid of the truth that life does not stop when we move from one life to another. Transitioning is understandably filled with turmoil. Our emotions and our bodies roil with love, sadness, stress, pain, perhaps, and fear of the unknown. It seems to me that human nature invariably clings to what we know and are comfortable with, even if the unknown is foretold to be infinitely better.
In these days of our own trans-continental transition I cling to the hope that the same God who has provided for us, loved us, blessed us, comforted us in this life, is there not only on “the other side,” but will hold us in His hand as we make that step over the threshold. I choose to believe that the life waiting for us has even greater joys and gifts than this one has—and we have had many!
In our time of turmoil I must make the daily and conscious decision to trust that God is with us and that life on the other side of the ocean will be as blessed as this one has been. To the praise of His glorious grace.