It seems that, for some unknown reason, many families are being led to have reunions. I know that every time we go to a picnic area or to Six Flags, there are dozens of people in matching T-shirts running around throwing Frisbees, posing for group pictures and playing kick ball or softball. Last month, my family and I spent some time visiting my wife’s brothers and sisters in Iowa and (you guessed it) attended her family reunion. No T-shirts, just some kick ball and great food.
I learned some very important things while I was there. I learned that it’s possible to drive through town without seeing a traffic light – or even needing one. I found out that air isn’t supposed to be brown and smell like a truck stop. I learned that the stars I remembered from my childhood are still there. I learned that plants and other growing things are supposed to be green like a crayon, not brown or greenish-gray. I learned that it’s supposed to get really dark and really quiet at night. I saw that both families and family members can love and respect one another. I rediscovered the fact that the best fun comes from simple and silly things. I learned that less is more.
But I learned something even more important. The important truth that I learned through personal experience is that the further you get from the world, the closer you get to God. Of the people I met, almost everyone knew Him. Here, at home, very few do. In Iowa, the people know that they need God. The people here at home don’t know that yet. In Iowa, the people thank God for the sun, the rain, and their blessings. Here, at home, they curse Him and use His name in vain because they think that they have everything they need. The people in Iowa know that God is in control of their lives and knowing that gives them peace. Here at home, people think they are supposed to be in control of their lives and they never have peace. The people in Iowa turn their faces to the Lord and willingly do His work. The people here turn their backs on Him. In Iowa, they don’t see death as something to fear, but the end of the race. Here at home, they cling to life with tremendous desperation and fear.
I wish I was back in Iowa for a lot of reasons, but the Lord has put me here for a purpose. Someone has to tell the people here what the people in Iowa already know. You see, there’s a really big family reunion coming up any time now and I want everyone to be able to attend. First Thessalonians 4:16 says ‘For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.’ Talk about a reunion!