Absence, the opposite of presence. We know the saying that absence make the heart grow fonder, but does it? Or does it wear away at our souls turning in to sorrow or grief, what if days or weeks turn into months or years.
Families who are distant hardly know each other and reunions aren’t enough or the occasional get together or holiday meal. They don’t really know each other. While you may love them, are you fonder of them, when you hear the same few old and dull family stories? Even husbands and wives who live in the same home but have separate lives, love waxes cold, not fonder, the more time apart.
What does the Bible say about absence? Hebrews 11:1 says that because Jesus ascended, His absence is the crown of our faith. Paul tells the Phillipians in 2:12, that they have obeyed in his presence and in his absence, and they should continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
It is sound advice for all believers whether in the presence of believers or pastors or anyone, to still obey the Lord, fear and trembling, is like with reverence and awe. We do not fear God because we love Him and He us, but we know it is in our best interest to obey. Trembling, the Holy Spirit can be overpowering, it is not the fear from the enemy, you are safe with Jesus, even if the Spirit moves you.
2 Corinthians 5:9 says we are to conduct ourselves worthy of the gospel, just as those in Corinth were told whether Paul was absent or present. Whether Jesus was absent or present. Do people really not know God sees their hearts and all they do and He knows all we think, hears every word?
Paul also speaks of being absent from the body and being present with the Lord. Not only in death, but there were times he was not sure if he was alive being in the Spirit, remember Paul taught about the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, just before the love chapter 13, which is a portrait of Christ and a perfect example or His agape love.
Personally, I think we could all use time apart, but not so much as to lose the intimacy of husband and wife. The closeness of family. No one wants to cook every Sunday dinner or attend every function at church, see every child’s soccer game, but to never visit,call or write, is being absent, and I don’t think the heart grows fonder.
If it were not for the Holy Spirit, and a close few, I would be so lost longing for the love of Jesus, it is just not the same without His presence. Yesterday’s post if you care to read it. Rebecca Jones