I will come back and take you to be with me.
You ate at each other’s table, talked over the backyard fence, went places together, and laughed and cried with one another.
Then one day, you blinked back tears as you watched a moving van taking your friend away.
The agony of absence is intensified when it has the chilling feel of forever: a parent stops breathing, a spouse is snatched away, a child dies too soon. Saying goodbye to your dearest-on-earth is as close to unbearable as it gets.
Jesus’ goodbye to his disciples was accompanied by a promise only he could make—the promise to come back for them and take them to be with him forever.
There is only one forever,
and there will be no goodbyes there.