It broke my heart.
My brothers and I were given baby ducklings when we were kids. It was a thrill for us! Dad helped us fix up a little area for them in our back yard and we placed our new pets in their cozy home.
Within a few days, one of the ducklings died.
Shortly after that, another one died.
Only one was still living, and it was mine.
Dad started telling me I should release my duckling into a nearby lake instead of keeping him in our back yard. The thought of it saddened me. I really loved my new pet. But I realized Dad was right. The little one had a better chance of surviving in the lake with other ducks than he did in our neighborhood.
So we placed him in one of those old-school, big, paper, brown, grocery bags from the local Piggly Wiggly. Then we drove to the lake, got out the car, and approached the shore. I already had tears in my 8 year old eyes.
I stood there and let the little duckling out of the bag. He made his way into the water and quickly began swimming away to join the older ducks. After a few moments, I couldn't see him anymore. And that was that. It was a quick "Goodbye", and I was so sad to see him leave.
Goodbyes are painful, aren't they? They signify an end to spending time together. And they often leave somewhat of an emotional void in our hearts.
One of the many advantages to Christianity is that the word "Goodbye" never has to be spoken. When it comes to dealing with our brothers and sisters in Christ, all we will ever have to say is, "We'll meet again one day in Heaven." We know there will be a perfect reunion one day with all of our fellow believers.
Also, God will never tell us "Goodbye". He has promised to stay with us as long as we're here on Earth. And He has promised we can spend all of eternity with Him in Heaven. God will bless us forever with an ongoing relationship of closeness.
Connected. That is what we will forever be with God and other believers. And that is why we will never have to say or hear the word, "Goodbye."