As a boy, I had a collie named Prince Boy, a great dog that I really loved. One day, he disappeared. I didn’t know if he had been stolen or if he had simply run away—but I was devastated. I searched everywhere. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is of climbing a tall tree from which I could scan our neighborhood in hopes of spotting him. I desperately wanted my beloved dog back. For weeks, I was always watching and hoping to see Prince Boy again. But we were never reunited.
There’s a much greater sense of loss when we think we’ll never again see a loved one who dies. But for those who know and love the Lord, death’s parting is only temporary. One day we will be reunited forever!
Paul assured the Thessalonians, “The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17). The words that provide comfort to the grieving heart are together and we. These words of reunion indicate that followers of Christ don’t ever have to experience permanent separation. For us, death is not a goodbye; it’s a “see you later.”
God’s people never say goodbye for the last time.