I remember back in the days when time was a much simpler concept. We didn't run our clocks
back and forth when I was a kid and I must say that in my ignorance, I really don't completely
understand why we do this now. All I do know is the little ditty that says "Spring Forward ~
Fall Back". It reminds me which direction to run my clock, depending on the season. This
helps me to keep up with everyone else so I'm not an hour late or an hour early.

For the bereaved, the whole concept of "time" takes on a new meaning. What used to seem
like moments can now seem like a lifetime. What used to seem like forever may feel like no
time at all. Even though every day has the same twenty-four hours in it, some days are so
long it's excruciating, while others are so short we feel slighted. When we're grieving, all the
laws of time seem to change.

Looking back, I can't believe my mother has been gone for eight years. In one aspect, it
seems as if she has been gone only a short while. In other ways, it seems as if she's been
gone forever. It seemed to me that the day before her funeral was a gazillion hours long. Yet
the day of her funeral passed by in a nanosecond, as I was lost in a fog all day. Different
days passed at different rates of time. I would be hard pressed to absolutely guarantee that
every day had the same exact number of minutes in it, because each one seemed to be so
different. Not only were the days different, but the nights were twice as long ~ all of them.

Now, to be honest, I have to admit that I've finally learned the secret about how to tell time.
You see, it totally depends on which direction you're looking. If you're grieving and looking
back at what once was, time is extremely diminished. But, if you're looking forward, towards
an unknown period of time without that loved one, time can be extremely distorted in the
opposite direction. I call it the "direction" factor.

Looking backwards, you
know how many years you spent with your loved one. Whether they
died at a young or old age, it still seems like such a short period of time. It's short because we
weren't done with them yet. We still had hopes, plans and dreams of many more laughs,
smiles, hugs, and life-things to share. It wasn't nearly long enough, so that period of time
seems terribly short. Maybe in some cases it was cut short, which makes us feel even more
slighted. But everyone will feel slighted, regardless of how many or how few years we spent
with our loved one.

Looking ahead in time, the number of our days left on this earth without our loved one is
unknown. So it seems incredibly long. Sometimes, just one day without that loved one
seems too long, but then adding one day to the next, it seems almost unbearable.

So, knowing now the factors that determine real time, how do we function now that our loved
one is no longer with us?  We remember that same little ditty: "Spring Forward ~ Fall Back".  
I's really all in how you look at it.

If you can understand and believe in your heart that you will be reunited with your loved one
in Heaven, then you can understand that this period of absence is only temporary. God
promised. He promised that this is NOT the end. He guarantees us that life is eternal. So
"spring forward" and live each day to the fullest, knowing your steps upon this sod are only
temporary, but your LIFE is eternal and you will have a great reunion with your loved one, at
a point of God's own perfect timing.

"Fall back" on your faith to keep you strong. Trust that God's timing is perfect and that He
does still have a plan for you and a purpose for your still being here. The proof of this is that
you ARE still here.

Sure, some days will still be much longer than others. But on those terribly long days or
nights, spend some of that extra time with the Lord, talking to Him in prayer and allowing Him
to refresh your spirit and be your strength. There will come a point when you will look back
and realize that even though it seemed forever, even this time was so very short.

                         While man measures moments, God measures eternity.
                            While man measures events, God measures hearts.

On the Spring weekend when we run our clocks ahead an hour we will lose an hour for now,
but we will get it back eventually... Just like our loved one! Although they are lost from us
now, we do get them back ~ in God's time.  Thank you, Jesus.
"Spring Forward ~ Fall Back"
Good Advice for the Grieving
© Ferna Lary Mills


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