Well, Here We Go!
I love Jennifer, my daughter-in-law but she cries a lot. Especially when it comes to watching her boys grow up. That’s okay. I usually cry with her. I remember a few years ago we had a tearful moment. Jon-Mical who was 7 was having his first official sleepover at a friend’s house. He was excited all day. Packed his backpack a dozen times. Got all the instructions from his mom about saying yes ma’am and no sir. Took his favorite matchbox toy and got in the car to go. Jennifer was telling us (tearfully) later that when they pulled up to his friend’s house there was this long moment of quiet, followed by Jon-Mical taking a really deep breath and then saying, “Well, here we go.”
I didn’t help matters by telling her that his daddy, my son Josh said the exact same words a few times in his life; when he walked out the door to get on the bus for the first day of first grade, the day I let him out of the car for high school baseball tryouts, and the morning that he drove his own loaded car out of our driveway and off to college. The last time I remember Josh saying that we were standing in a small room waiting to walk around a lake and take our place in front of a large, outside crowd and watch his bride come walking down the aisle. Josh and I had been alone for a few minutes. I was reminding him of the steps we would take as I married him and Jennifer. We laughed about some funny things his ushers had said. And then Josh got quiet for a moment, took a deep breath and said, “Well, here we go.”
Life is full of those “here we go” moments. We are entering one right now as we come out of social isolation and slowly, fearfully, take steps to restart life. Sometimes we have time to articulate that. Sometimes we don’t know we are going until we’ve already went. The birth of that new baby, the first day on the new job, walking into a new church for the first time, SIGNING THE CONTRACT ON A NEW BUILDING, putting that beautiful daughter on a plane for a mission trip, putting your arms around that gray-headed spouse while the grandkids pull out of the driveway, sitting beside the hospital bed before the surgeon comes in. It’s usually the same scenario. There is nothing else to say. We can’t delay it any longer. We get quiet for a moment. Take a deep breath and say, “Well, here we go.”
There are a couple of things that come to mind as I ponder the “here we go” moments. First, we never go alone. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you. I am with you all of the time.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20) Whether it is the 6-year-old boy getting on the bus or the 60-year-old man signing the contract, the promise of a great and loving God is that He will be right there with us every step of the way.
I needed to remember that this week while the news seemed to be indicating that the world was going to hell in a handbasket. I turned off one particularly dismal news report and turned to Doris and said, “Well, here we go.” And God said, “I am going with you.” Whatever fun or frightening new chapter you are facing in life, a change in your family situation or a change in the political climate of the world, you need to know that He walks right beside you from one chapter to the next. And in fact, is already there ahead of you.
That leads me to the other thought. There is always somebody there waiting on us. Jon-Mical took a gulp and said, “Well, here we go.” About that moment the door of his friend’s house opened and Rowan came running out and it was awesome. Josh said, “Well, here we go.” Then Jennifer stepped into the aisle, absolutely radiant in her bridal gown, and all fears were forgotten. In the boardroom or at the hospital bedside it is crucial to remember that not only has God promised to walk beside us, He is also on the other side waiting for us. I have quoted for years the little ditty: “For I don’t know where I’ll go or when I’ll go from this familiar scene; but Christ is HERE and Christ is THERE and all the way between. And though I go from all I know to some dim, vast unknown; though late I stay or soon I go I SHALL NOT WALK ALONE.”
Whatever you are facing, whatever changes, challenges or catastrophes that are ahead of you, whatever social reentry looks like, God is in this with you and in fact is already waiting for you when you get through it. He loves you. He has your best interest at heart. And He is pretty powerful. So gather your thoughts, take a deep breath and…well, here we go!