For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
I'm so excited! My 40th high school reunion is just around the corner! I can't wait to see so many friends from days gone by, to reconnect in a personal way which Facebook simply can't duplicate. To relive memories and celebrate the people we are in the now.
To rejoice in renewed friendships. To cherish each moment of sharing we are given at this gathering. To remember, with love, those classmates no longer with us . . .
We are all busy exchanging information and chatting with one another on our Facebook invite page, everyone pitching in to find "lost" classmates and staying up-to-date with who is planning to attend. In the midst of this, I receive a private, precious message from my dear friend, Mimi: "So excited to see you in just a short time. I remember how sad you were at the 30th. God has certainly repaid what the locusts have eaten and granted you great joy."
Wow . . . I had actually forgotten how sad I was in years gone by! And, had been for several years after my husband, John, passed away unexpectedly in 1997. My joy had already returned when I attended that 30th reunion, but when asked about the past? Well, I guess everything came tumbling out . . .
And, yes, those first years after losing John are anything but easy. I miss him so much. Life seems surreal and empty. I struggle with my faith. I wrestle with God.
Sure, I muddle through each day. Moving forward, step by baby step. Comforted and encouraged by the of my children, my friends, and my family.
But, something is missing. I can't put my finger on it. I still trust in the Lord. I believe, as my father once told me, that God makes no mistakes. (Though, I must confess, I railed against Him more than once for deciding it was John's time to go home.)
Still, I remain in the night of weeping.
Until . . .
One evening at children's choir rehearsal, our pianist, Cathy, rewards the kids' hard work with a rollicking song.
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart . . .
The children are dancing, leaping, clapping, and singing at the top of their lungs. And, in an instant, my soul is flooded with the radiant light of joy! God's joy!
What was lost within me now is found!
The weeping ceases. Instead, I celebrate the gift God gave me in John.
For I know that one bright morning when this life is over, there will be a reunion of our souls in Christ Jesus.
Have you ever attended a high school reunion? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for the beautiful souls You have placed in our lives at different times and seasons. May we rest assured that we will one day be reunited with those we love and who loved us. Grant to all who have passed before us lives of perfect service in Your heavenly kingdom. Amen.