I stare out, glancing at the trees in my backyard. I soak in the scene before me, wanting to capture the moment. In three short weeks, this view will no longer be mine. I will no longer have access to this place I now call home. Boxes slowly are piling up around me, crowding our rooms, crowding my mind. So much to do, so much to do.
Yet, at the window I pause. This view has been mine for eight years. That’s nearly 3000 evenings of washing dishes and watching. Watching my children laugh and swing as the sun sets. Watching the birds’ fly, gather food, and rest. Watching the trees bloom, burst with color, and grow barren once more. Somehow, I thought I owned this little view. Yet, I am realizing more and more, I never really own anything. I simply steward what is given.
All that is mine will one day belong to someone else.
One simple thought that changes everything. Life slowly passes and then suddenly and swiftly begins to fly by. The items we think we own are simply given to us for the journey. Even our relationships are subject to the changing tides of life. I no longer have chubby cheeked babies to cuddle or diapers to change. Where did they go?
With every passing year I say good-bye to some part of my children that is lost as they grow. And with every year I gain some new part as I watch God unveil who He is making each of them to be. Slowly He uncovers and reveals the mystery of His plan. I do not own my children anymore than I own my home. I simply steward what it is given.
I want to grasp and hold on to these moments. I want to welcome new memories without the sadness of saying good-bye to passing days. Yet, in perfect harmony we always seem to be in the process of losing and gaining. Holding on and letting go. Speeding up and slowing down. Glancing back and looking forward. Already having, but not yet obtaining. If I cling to what is lost, I miss the joy of what is given. I am a creature bound for eternity, living within the confines of time. All my days were written before one of them came to be. Even my time is not my own. I simply steward what is given.
In the midst of a world where homes come and go, children grow up and change, friendships ebb and flow, and time passes with increasing speed, the Lord is the only unchanging presence in life. He is an anchor that holds, a foundation that is firm, and a rock on which we can stand. No other person, place, or thing can give us such a promise:
“Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
He also gives us the hopeful truth that in our waiting and wanting something better is yet to come:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3
As I am preparing for another temporary home, He is preparing for me an eternal dwelling. This future reality supplies present joy. One day, He will return and take me home. No boxes to pack and unpack, no moving vans required. He has made all the arrangements and secured the way. Oh, how I await that day! The ebb and flow of changing seasons and circumstances will cease and the unending song of joy will begin.
Melissa Kruger serves as Women's Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World (Christian Focus, 2012). Her husband Mike is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary, and they have three children. You can follow her on Twitter @MelissaBKruger.