Far, Yet So Near


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I kissed and hugged my husband goodbye. Most days it was to see him off to work. At other times, it was to wish him a good time fishing or hunting. But we knew this time was different. I would be gone with the girls with no definite plans of coming back. Yes, we were leaving Russia, but we knew we were coming back. When? Nobody knew. (But I'm sure God does.)

I left Russia with a heavy heart, yet hopeful, knowing that I will see my dear husband and son again.
Before leaving, with divine providence, my husband and I were able to iron out the issues that troubled us concerning my impending departure. I left knowing that I wouldn't be alone to endure a marriage tested by distance. It is comforting to know that we are in this together. I left with a certainty that as I carry his presence in my heart, so will I be in his.

Now, I don't say that it has been easy being away from each other, but we work on our connection and what makes it easier is the thought that I will see my husband again. We try to keep the communication lines open. I keep the avenues that he uses to contact me available and intentionally seek out to get in touch with him myself. Some days it feels like I'm giving out a weather report and so had to exert some effort to tell him about the people that I know he cares and wants to know about. Then there are days that I unburden my heart to him and days when I share in his joys and successes. 

Ah, but it would all be more wonderful to get to talk about all these in person when the time comes. The burdens and tears won't be that heavy and won't be hurting that much; and the joys would be intensified three-fold. There's miracle in sharing. The Swedes have this saying, "Shared joy is double joy; and shared sorrow is half a sorrow." 

Trying to find encouragement for my present (of being far from my husband), I wracked my brains looking for an account in the Bible about a couple that had to endure a long-distance relationship. I came up with something more than 'just' a couple. I found the ultimate couple-- the Lamb and His bride, the church. So I looked it up in none else but the Bible. 

I am encouraged to find that Christ longs to be with us, His bride. Before He left, he departed with words of comfort, "Do not worry... Believe in God, believe also in Me... I will come back and receive you" (John 14:1-3). He also made certain that we are never alone. His presence dwells with us through the Holy Spirit in our hearts. He has opened all avenues to heaven so we can get in touch with Him easily and in the most frequent time as possible. And that means, every minute of every hour! He longs to hear us in prayer, whispered or spoken out loud. He wants to hear us talk about our day, our burdens and our joys. And He speaks to us in many ways--- love messages through nature, the Bible, our experiences--- just like the love message I am receiving now while writing this. He is telling me that just as I long to be with my husband, He also longs to be with His people--- and that includes me. When that time comes, which will be sooner than we think, it would be great, great joy to share in the victory of our redemption and to find that sorrows and tears are things of the past.

For now, I find encouragement in the Lamb, that though time may separate Him and His bride, They are never far. Christ already had made sure that He will be with His bride together--- to eternity. And though my husband may be far, he is quite near. He is in my thoughts and prayers and will always occupy a space in my heart. We will be together soon. And I'm looking forward to being with him as we meet the Lamb. 

Yeah, He is so near. He is almost here.

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20). Come!

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