After both of my grandparent's passed away, my aunt and uncle moved into the house they had lived in for many years - the house where so many family memories had been made. They continued to live there and to keep up the family traditions, and then they, too, passed from this life to the next.
A few days ago, I happened to pass by their house in Springfield, Delaware County. Due to complicated legal issues, the house had been empty for the last six years. I was used to driving by and seeing the same white clapboard Cape Cod with the same hedges, trees, and mailbox as ever. But this time, I almost missed the house. Suddenly, it was no longer there, and in it's place was a cute little light green gingerbread house with white scalloped trim.
My initial reaction was one of shock! What happened to Nanna & Aunt Pat's house?! Something isn't right!
I looked it up and yes, of course - it had finally been sold after all this time, and someone had fixed it up and put their own personal touches on it. Wow!
Then I thought about the fact that it's been over 17 years since I sold MY house in Springfield, and other than someone sending me pictures over the years, I haven't once driven by the house. In fact, even though it's been an awfully long time, i was shocked (and maybe even a little dismayed) to see in the photos that 'someone' had the nerve to repaint the house in another color & to remove the tree in the front yard! How dare they, lol!!
It's sometimes disconcerting to see hard evidence of days gone by, good memories that are now nothing more than memories, and to be reminded of people who've gone on to glory without us, isn't it?
But dealing with loss is simply part of the life God has graciously given us. I'm not sure why God has designed life the way He has (that question is on my long list of questions I have for God as soon as I see Him!), but maybe part of the answer is that we tend to perceive things only as the world perceives, even though Scripture reminds us that we are not of the world - this life is just temporary. If we can instead perceive things from the perspective of ETERNITY, as God does, then we'll be more inclined to celebrate the things and people we've encountered along the way, and to also look forward with great joy and anticipation to all that God has in store for us for all eternity. That is my prayer for all of us today!