For a Short Time

My heart is becoming more elastic these days – not tougher, I hope, but more willing to be stretched, more willing to love on less-than-ideal terms, to accept conditions that I would not prefer, and to take the risk of loving anyway. As happens so often, the Apostle Paul is leading the way, and I am falling in behind him through his first letter to the church in Thessalonica.

But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire, (I Thessalonians 2:17).

All of Paul’s fatherly (and even motherly!) instincts are being thwarted and throttled by sheer geography – the limitations of time and space. He was able to send Timothy in his place (3:2), but, reading the whole letter, I see that Paul was deeply concerned for this body of new believers. They were experiencing suffering, and Paul was eager to build into hearts a firm foundation so that their faith would not falter. He was grieving this separation, BUT . . . his grief was being tempered by his view of God and of ultimate things — which was made crystalline and clear the day he lost his sight on the Damascus Road.

In these days of growing-up boys, of empty bedrooms and full schedules, in these middle years of saying good-bye for good to loved ones who are populating heaven and exiting my Christmas card list at an alarming rate, I want to embrace Paul’s view of space and time. I want to let Paul’s three little prepositional phrases teach me how to love . . .

I’m sharing the rest of my story and study today at Reflect.  I hope that you will join me over there, and that you’ll say hello to our hostess, Jann Cobb, and browse her site for more inspiration.

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

16 thoughts on “For a Short Time”

  1. Our times of separation are painful, but in the body of Christ, we are apart “in presence” only – “not in heart.” Great thought!


  2. Hi Michele….not certain if this posted at Jann’s. It gave me a weird response, so posting it here just in case.
    Michele, it’s good to see you here. And, Jann, thank you for opening your blog pages. This post is timely as my husband and I unexpectedly and suddenly lost a friend this week. Make no mistake, though, earth’s loss was heaven’s gain. Those three phrases of Paul’s, short as they are, bring hope. I’ve never thought about them Michele, but am certainly glad you did. Visiting today via #countingmyblessings


    1. Oh, Kristi, I’m sorry for your loss. It’s so jarring when our hearts are forced to span the gap between here and heaven. Glad that you are finding help in processing it all through Paul’s letter.


  3. When grief is tempered by the clear lens He leads us to look through, it is like a glorious gift. Isn’t it a blessing to be continually touched by His loveliness?
    Thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michelle, I am leaving my comment here as I did try to on “Reflect” but received a message saying it could not post. [Sorry}
    I am grateful to have read your words, Michelle. May I realize how “short” time truly is & stay focused on Him. May my heart remain soft as the years grow harder. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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