Gilland: Precious and Few

Family picture

Well, it happened again. Another visit from our out-of-state son and his wonderful wife and children ended today, as I took them to the airport for their flight home.

The length of time of their visits always seems to be too short, no matter how long they are here. I have come to believe that even if they were able to visit for a month, I would feel the same sadness on the last day of their trip.

I know that many who will read this have experienced this very same scenario, as we live in a day and age where family members often leave the area of their upbringing to pursue a career several states away.

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Cindy and I did the very same thing when we moved to Florida in 1985, and though we believed that our move was in line with God’s plan for our lives, it still changed our family, and also the family members left behind.

The key is to enjoy those special times, to make memories together when we can, to grab every moment that can be spent together.

And, because of the love of Jesus that binds us into His family, we can also experience some of that “family love” with friends who become dear to our hearts, perhaps enjoying a love that would be on par with our own blood relatives.

This family or family-type love is a precious gift, one not to be taken for granted, or to be neglected. While this morning was painful, it was also a blessing because I know that my son’s move was a good one, and it has born great fruit in their marriage and in their children.

While it still hurt when I hugged his neck that last time in front of the airport departing gate, the confidence I have in knowing that he is where he was called to be helps mitigate the sting of their absence.

The apostle Paul experienced this kind of love we can see it in his writings, including 1 Corinthians 4, where Paul describes Timothy as a beloved child, a son if you will. And in Philippians 1:3, Paul writes to his friends saying, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…” (ESV).

A parent’s love for their children, or a children’s love for their parents, or the love that we have for dear friends with whom we worship in our churches—in each of these scenarios we can see what a precious gift we can have in relationships.

If that doesn’t currently ring true for you, then it isn’t too late to pray. Ask God to draw you closer to your family, or to those dear friends. Work to spend as much time together as you can.

There was a popular pop song that everyone loved in the 70s. It had a line in the lyrics that talked about how precious and few are the moments that we share together. That’s more than just a good lyric. It is truth to be discovered, developed and enjoyed.

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