Forever with Christ – Week of February 19, 2024

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

It happened twice before, but experience doesn’t make the process any less terrifying. First the mammogram, then the ultrasound and on to biopsy the “highly suspicious mass”. Then the waiting for results. The devil works really hard during that wait! I’m not afraid to go to heaven—in fact, leaving this world of illness and fear to be with God in heaven is something I look forward to! What scares me is the thought of separation from my children. I want to be with them while they grow up and I don’t want someone else helping them learn how to navigate this world. I don’t want to leave them.

God knows that we are afraid of separation from our loved ones when we leave this world. He knows how important it is for humans to feel connected to each other. And he knows that the worst feeling of ALL is to feel separated from HIM, our creator, Savior, and protector.

And yet, every day, we do things to separate ourselves from God. Our biggest problem, sin, separates us from God and his love. Nothing that we can do—no acts of kindness, no gifts of love and money, nothing we do can bring us closer to God and fix the problem of our sin.

But there is good news! God tells us that nothing, NOTHING can separate us from him, because Jesus has filled our need. He has fixed our problem of sin. Jesus allowed himself to feel the separation from God that WE should feel. He took all our sins on him, separating himself from God, so that we never need to feel that pain.

And so now, nothing can separate us from “the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. We can face challenges, illness, and the life and death that we see in this world knowing that we will always be his children. In the same way that we want to love and protect, and always be with our own children, God chose us as his own. No evil forces, no height or dimension, no trials of this world, nothing can “counterbalance” God’s love for us.

In view of this, my fear about being separated from my children seems a little silly, arrogant even. When I am gone, God will be with them, and he will continue to be with me. He promises this to all of us that he has called his own.

God has chosen us to be his own. He sent his son to die in our place, and he promises to continue to love and protect us until he takes us to be with him in heaven. Let us endure our days on this earth with the strength that God gives us, knowing he will hold us close forever. Nothing can separate us from our God!

Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank you for choosing me to be your own. Thank you for sending your son to die for me, so that I will never be separated from your love. Continue to hold me and all believers close to you, and help us to daily remember the promises that you have already fulfilled. Amen.

For further meditation, see Christian Worship 502, Children of the Heavenly Father, especially stanzas three and four.

A Question to Consider:
When you think of the scary things in this world that try to take your mind off of Jesus, how do the words “nothing can separate us from the love of God” bring you comfort?

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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